Markella's husband Jimmy Joe [behind her in pic below] was the Fire Chief of Kimball and Director of McDowell County 911 in 2001 and 2002 when flash floods raced down the West Virginia mountains being stripped of their trees and coal. But not even he could stop the currents pushing his fire truck down the "street" preventing him from rescuing his family. But after watching nearly all the other brick buildings around her fall down from a second story apartment above the store, her family and friends took weeks off work to help her remove the three and a half feet of mud in her basement after the water receded. Today, her Greek restaurant, Ya Sou [which means in Greek, "To good health!"], still serves grape leaves and baklava and other delicacies and dishes even Roy has grown to love.
Roy is the African American semi-retarded adult foster child I met during our Mission Trip to America last week who does the dishes in Markella's Kimball, West Virginia restaurant. His foster parents died recently and though he can take care of himself, like all of us, he still needs a mom. So months after he started helping around the store, he asked Markella if he could call her mom and she said yes. Everybody who comes to Ya Sou knows Markella and her husband and her kids. But now everyone also knows Roy. This self proclaimed "red neck brother" is one of the friendliest and kindest people you'll ever meet. Click here to listen to one of his fave bluegrass bands performing live in Markella's deli.
The rich young ruler in Mark 10 didn't grasp what Markella and Roy did. But even though he didn't, Mark 10:18 says, "Jesus looked at him and loved him." I wish the Bible added "like crazy" but we still get the point. It takes grace to give and receive.