Compassion through tragedy: Michael Gee’s story
My name’s Michael Gee, and I’m from Augusta, Maine. My journey with God has had many ups and downs, many struggles and victories. My story winds through the wintery woods of Maine, to the sanitized rooms of a cancer center, to the slums of Haiti.
Ten years ago, my brother, Newman, was killed from a hunting accident in the woods. He was my best friend and, all of a sudden, he was gone. The void was excruciating. I got so angry with God—whoever He was, because I didn’t really know Him then.
Two months after Newman died, my wife was diagnosed with leukemia. In our own way, before we were even believers, we cried out to God for healing. My wife is in remission now and doing great, but this season of our lives was incredibly difficult. I know now God never left us in those trials.
For over eight years, I wrestled with anger toward a God I didn’t know. I kept working as a pharmacist, and the whole time that anger festered in my heart. But that all began to change the day our neighbors invited us to Kennebec Community Church (KCC).
I came to KCC right around Easter time with my wife. Something just clicked. I think it was a combination of things, but above all, it was the music. God brought me to Him through music. The worship at KCC spoke to me about God’s love that I hadn’t heard expressed in other ways. Being in worship, working through my grief and anger, lifting up my eyes to Him, learning to trust Him through everything and remain thankful—these are things the music at KCC taught me.
I loved learning about the Bible, which I thought I had known before but really didn’t. Through Pastor Dan’s preaching, I finally realized something very simple, but powerful: Jesus was God in human form, and He came to earth to die for us and forgive us. Usually, at the end of every service, Pastor Dan asks everyone to bow their heads and says, “If you were touched by God today and you want to ask Him into your heart, raise your hand.” And one day, I did just that. I realized being a good person wasn’t enough. I needed a Savior. I needed Jesus Christ to live in my heart. And now I want others around me to have Him like I do. My wife and I were baptized at KCC a short while later.
But that wasn’t the end of my story—if anything, it was just the beginning. My wife and I were enjoying our new church home, getting involved in service and community. One day somebody got up and talked about a missions trip to Haiti. And God spoke to me right there. He said, “Michael, you need to do this. This is your calling.” I looked at my wife and told her I needed to go on that trip. Without any hesitation, she said, “Yes, you do.”
So I started gearing up. I was excited, but also nervous about going on my first missions trip at 56 years old. But our mission statement at KCC is to love Jesus, love others and help others love Jesus. That’s what I wanted to do in Haiti, just like we do here. Thirteen people worked together on the team. I kept a journal and learned a lot about myself through that trip. Every day, God touched me with something different. We helped with water truck days, where we’d take out a hose and fill up buckets for people in a line as far as you could see. This was the only water these people would have for a week.
We visited orphanages, and I held a little boy who was 16 months old but the size of an 8-month-old because of malnutrition. I couldn’t put him down. Holding him in my arms, I realized that all the trials, all the places I’d been and things I’d experienced—Newman’s death, my wife’s leukemia—all of them had led to this moment. All the suffering I’d ever experienced on my journey was meant to give me compassion for others’ suffering. In that moment, all I wanted to do was show the love of God to this little boy and let him know he’s deeply loved by his Creator.
Serving God in Haiti transformed me. It gave me a whole different perspective of the world. I’ll be going back there, I know that. It’s my calling. It’s where I belong. And without God, KCC and Pastor Dan, I never would have found it.
Kennebec Community Church continues to serve the community of Augusta, Maine as God changes lives through the gospel. For more information about KCC and church planters Dan and Amanda Coleman, visit the at .