An act of kindness for the Christmas holiday’s for a local business man.
“It was shocking, and it was an overwhelming experience and it was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Ristovski.
Mel Freeman, the church’s pastor, also appears in the video, microphone in hand, describing what was happening to Bob Ristovski and the congregation.
In a telephone interview, Freeman said a member of his church suggested that the congregation take part in a “random act of kindness.”
The pastor liked the idea.
“We took advantage of the opportunity to really be a blessing to somebody here this Christmas season,” Freeman said.
That led to the moment on Wednesday night, when he, his wife and other members of their church sprung the surprise on the unsuspecting Ristovski.
Freeman said the church put a bunch of pizzeria names in a hat, before one was selected randomly by a member of the congregation.
The name that was pulled was Bob O’s Pizza, a small independent pizzeria opened by Ristovski more than a year ago.
A pizza was ordered and the stage for surprise was set at an evening holiday service held by the church Wednesday.
“When Bob came in, he didn’t know what was going on,” Freeman said. “We brought him up to the front of the church, introduced myself to him and then we let him know this is what we want to do.”
Ristvoski said that when he arrived with the pizza, he was brought inside and led to the front of the congregation.
“From then on, I was basically just overwhelmed with everything,” said Ristovski, who told CBC News that he had not met Freeman before that night.
In the video, Freeman talks about the church, the belief of its membership and its intent to give him a tip.
“We said, ‘Let’s bless somebody,'” Freeman says to Ristovski in the three-minute, 41-second video.
When Ristovski is told the tip totals $1,697, collected by the congregation. He ends up hugging Freeman and appears at a loss for words as the congregation roars.
“I’m speechless,” he says on the video.
The video ends with Ristovski blowing kisses to the crowd before walking off camera.
A day later, when asked to describe how he was feeling, Ristovski said very much the same thing.
“I’m still in awe about it,” said Ristovski.
Both Freeman and Ristovski insist the act of kindness is random and the video is genuine, and that neither had met before.