This is the second story I will tell which begins with "I was in the car with Tom and his wife Joy." This arrangement happens a lot in my life -- riding in the car with Tom and Joy, so naturally, there are countless stories to follow. In this instance, we were driving home from a meeting (one of the earliest ones) regarding We Carry Kevan. I don't even know if we'd settled yet on the project title. But on our drive, we were discussing our focus. What's the point of this trip? We ran the question alongside the matter of campaign strategies. How do we get people involved? We decided money would not take precedence. Sure, we were doing a fundraiser, but that wouldn't be our focus, just part of the necessities. No, our focus would be the people and the story.
"Rather than saying we need X-amount of money," Joy suggested, "let's have the mindset of we need to reach X-amount of people."
So, we've done just that. Talking to people, telling the story, and trusting our audience to see the financial needs and take care of them. And that is exactly what's happened. Not only is the audience growing by leaps and bounds, by the grace of God, but the funding is coming in and folks are even offering accommodations and aid while we're there, which helps to lower our overall cost. Our desire has been to build a community that cares as much about this trip as we do, and it has been incredible to see that happening on a grander scale than we ever imagined.
And all we can say is Thank You! Thank you for being part of this crazy adventure!
Our other desire, a continuation really, is that this experience be an inspiration to the community. And again, this is happening in ways I would never have dreamed! I am overwhelmed by the emails and Facebook messages and Gofundme notes that are not just expressing excitement for us (love those ones too), but the personal stories of how this project is touching folks. I love reading notes from parents whose kids are disabled or people who have disabled friends, or we hear from the disabled people themselves, and they are all inspired to step out and do what we're doing. Guys, that is the point of all this! To encourage one another and carry one another into most certain adventure!
In these parents who write to me, I see my own parents. I see the parents of my late friends Jimmy and Corey, who have passed away from Duchenne but experienced such full lives because of their wonderful families. And in these friends of disabled folks, I see my own friends, who are sometimes crazier than me in their vigor to defy the disabled odds. I see the guys in Mark 2 as they tear off a man's roof and lower their friend down to see Jesus. And in these disabled folks who contact me, I see my sister. I see my blind roommate Charlie, from college. I see my quadriplegic friend Leo. I see myself, itching for the impossible and inspired by those I see just gunning for it with all-deliberate speed.
I am unbelievably blessed to have such amazing friends and family around me to make my life, not just possible, but awesome. And I am so thankful (and constantly humbled) to be part of this experience. I'm excited to have you along too.