He Hears the Angels Sing

He Hears the Angels Sing

by Rev. Dr. Thomas Hoffmann & Rev. Jessica Moffatt

Here is a riddle: Who is 5’5”, speaks multiple languages, and actually lives at the church?

Sometimes pastors make a bit of a joke when someone says to us, “Do you ever go home?” Our brand of humor thinks it’s funny to say, “No, I don’t. I have a bed in the back!” Juan Galvin, a 10-year faithful member of our facilities team, actually lives at the church!
On our first tour of the campus, we were surprised and delighted to learn about Juan’s arrangement. Randy had taken us to the lower part of the building to see the beautiful children’s area. He casually mentioned that there was an apartment on that floor where Juan lives. As we have gotten to know Juan, we have come to appreciate his great care of the campus and his wonderful commitment to our congregation. We have also come to understand the great safety and security benefit of having someone like Juan living on the church campus.

How did it happen that Juan came to be on staff at the church?
His story begins in Reynosa and other Mexico border towns. At the age of 12, “I heard my dad talking about the USA,” said Juan, “and I knew I wanted to visit, too. I wanted to see the world.” He never went back, and the US became his new home. “That first year was so hard,” he admits, “until I started learning English. But I picked it up fast.” Juan worked a number of jobs throughout Texas, including manufacturing automobile pressure plates and building AC components. After moving to Oklahoma, he maintained apartment buildings for over two decades. Along the way, he raised two girls and two boys who are now grown.

About ten years ago, Juan connected with Church of the Servant and became part of the facilities staff—and the rest is history. Living at Servant allows him to provide both evening cleaning and maintenance and to keep the building secure. We asked him what it was like to live in a church. Juan answered, “Even though I’m Catholic, this church is just like the church I know: we baptize, we marry people, we learn about Mary and about Jesus. And when I’m in bed at night, I hear the angels sing!”

“I like the people here at Servant,” Juan added, “but I have to say Randy (Shrauner) is my Number One. I give him great thanks for allowing me to work here and to live here.”

When you see Juan be sure to say “Hello” or “¡Hola!” to this humble watchman and caretaker of our sacred spaces.