Talking to Dave Linton you can’t help but be captivated. He oozes the joy of the Lord through living his life with a dream and a passion that God has put on his heart to pursue. It is not just any dream, it wasn’t something to make him richer or well known but to change the lives of many young people.
I would love to tell you about that dream.
MADLUG (Making a Difference Luggage) was born through a vision of Dave’s and I first heard about it when Glen returned from spending a week with Dave at a leadership retreat. It wasn’t about the product that caught my attention. Although the product is a very powerful tool. A one for one model, when you purchase a bag another one is given to a child in care. This was pretty amazing in its itself but it was Dave’s vision for it to happen that struck me.
His vision for every young person in care to be treated with dignity, worth and value. As Glen spoke about Dave and his passion for those most vulnerable I knew immediately I wanted to get behind and support in whatever way I could.
MADLUG was started because Dave allowed his heart to be motivated by a desire to see a difference made to peoples lives. Dave and his wife, Judith have fostered for years and again something that wasn’t shouted from the roof tops but a quiet and beautiful conviction that this is what they should do with what they had in their hands. They put one foot in front of the other. Dave and Judith were attending a course and he saw and heard something that broke his heart. He heard something that he couldn’t un-hear and he knew that he could no longer look the other way and pretend he didn’t know. He saw a gap, he saw a lack of dignity to young people in care and was impacted to his core, he knew then he had to pursue that still small voice of God speaking.
God broke Dave’s heart for something that broke His and Dave responded. Dave no longer could sit back and know that the young people in his society, on his watch carried all their possessions in a black bag, so he set out to do something.
I was inspired already and the conversation had just begun.
When Dave and I chatted about MADLUG his love and devotion for this product is amazing. A story of one man who took what he had in his hand and partnered with God and through determination and sacrifice is now sitting in meetings and places he never thought in his wildest dreams he would be.
He is literally changing one life at a time.
He talked about where it all began and the vision he had from that first time where he knew God was going to do something extra ordinary with what He had placed in his heart. The miracle stories of finance and people crossing his path, unexpectedly builds faith in me and as he talks on and I am believing once more the God in who we trust wants us to live this life, our life of endless pursuit to bring hope to hopeless.
He is a living testimony of life being a series of tiny miracles. We just need to notice them!
Immediately Dave saw the bigger picture and he had vision for the finish line. He had an idea and he didn’t stay still for long. He didn’t think about failing, I don’t think he would have cared it had fallen at the first hurdle because he knew he had to do something. He shared that dream with a friend, he pursued the next step. He found someone who would listen to him and hear those words without scoffing ‘I have an idea’ .
He found someone who would believe in him and what God was speaking to him about. God was in this but he knew he needed people around him to also see what he saw. He found people he could trust and share his heart. He began the process of setting something up that had never been done before.
Dave was impacted by something that wasn’t right, that God never intended for those young people to carry their possessions in a black bag and Dave knew he could fix this. It didn’t need to be like this. Children could make their way with dignity and as we get behind this product by buying a bag we can be part of that too.
I just admire Dave’s journey of the humility throughout it all, he talked freely and without shame about the struggles that he has faced with the sacrifice that this has brought but he always goes back to that place of his value, worth and dignity of who he is as a child of God. Speaking to Dave you can’t help be attracted to his relationship with the Father. This quiet confidence of his identity in who he is in Christ and what the Father wants to do through Dave and although the conversation was primarily focused on MADLUG Dave also inspire me to take heed of what God is placing in my heart.
Last summer we decided as a family that the kids would all get MADLUG bags to go to school with. We talked to them all about Dave’s vision and what buying a bag would mean for someone else. We decided as a family that over the summer the kids would give away all their pocket money to go towards the bag that they would carry. Blessed to be a blessing. We love our MADLUG bags and we each carry them because we want to Make A Difference with our LUGgage.
What can you do with what is your hand today that will echo in eternity?
Dave began MADLUG with three words that is the foundation of this all – Value, Worth, Dignity. How he is passionate, oh so passionate about how young people view themselves. Those who have been in care and have moved from foster home to foster home. He wants each of them, not one to be forgotten about, to know that they have value, dignity and worth. He wants them to carry their possessions in something that is not a bin bag so that they will know that they are worthy.
Please get on over to the MADLUG website (here)and order one of these bags and be part of making a difference in a young persons life. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and get updated regularly on what is going on.