Mover of Men and Mountains. This is the title of the biography of R. G. LeTourneau, the Christian inventor, businessman and philanthropist, which Jeff Cade recommended that I read. It was one of the most inspiring biographies I have ever read. I commend it to you. But it also describes Jeff’s daily work life. Jeff moves mountains and he moves/manages a team of men to do it. He works for a road construction company that is always in need of breaker rock and gravel for their work projects.
It may literally look like child’s play. After all, every little boy playing with toy versions of bulldozers and dump trucks at one time dreams of doing this “when they grow up.” But this is so much more than toys in an overgrown sandbox. The work is more delicate than you might imagine. First, you have to deal with private landowners. The job of Jeff and his team is stripping the rock from God’s earth but first they have to gain contracts from the landowners. A strip mine may not be the prettiest site you have ever seen, but Jeff works with stewardship in mind. Once a project is completed, they grade the land in such a way that years later you would never know they were here.
Next Jeff contracts with demolition experts who drill holes in the rock and blow off sides of the hill. These are, after all, mountains of mostly solid rock-Wisconsin limestone. Then moving the rock and shaping the hills are another matter of precision. For a heavy equipment operator, there is an artistry to the multiple pedals and levers that are manipulated in one smooth motion--man and machine in a graceful dance of demolition and development. (But don’t tell these tough guys they are ‘dancing’!) Finally, they have the pressure of their bosses hammering for larger and larger quotas of rock to feed their hungry road crews.
Jeff is one of the kindest men I have known with an ever present smile of enthusiasm on his face. Jeff actually met the Lord in these rock pits. He grew tired of the country music blaring on his radio and one day switched to a Christian radio station. He listened to countless hours of music, sermons and especially enjoyed the programming for kids. Slowly his heart began to receive the truth of the messages. Jeff was a sinner and he desperately needed Jesus. God graciously replaced his heart of rock with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Meeting his wife Kathy solidified his faith and now they are a staple of our church life. Jeff still moves mountains and men every day, but his greatest joy is watching the Lord move his heart to new heights of love and obedience.