We're Here

Our flight through the night brought us right into Paris yesterday morning (Monday). Going through security and meeting up with the rest of our team was smoother and faster than we could have ever imagined. Then, three trams and several flights of stairs later, we found our flat. None of us had slept in over 24 hours. My thoughts, personally, were set on toilet, washing, food, sleep. You know, the necessities.

We came into the flat (two levels) and all spread out to explore. Me and "Harv" (the backpack) were set in the living for the time being while we got our bearings of the layout. But I wasn't left there for long! From upstairs, Luke and Tom let out a cheer and Tom came running back down. "You gotta see this," he said as he scooped me out of the backpack and we began our ascent of the narrow spiral staircase. Side note - we passed a life-size Spider-Man statue on the way up. When we reached the top, he carried me into the master bedroom, where everyone huddled around the window in complete wonder. And suddenly, everything else, all our temporal needs and discomforts, faded away.

I sat on the floor for the next hour with my friends, staring out upon Montmartre, with Sacre-Coeur on the reachable horizon. Rain pattered on the sill, traffic and voices lapped like waves over the city. Time stood still as we let it all sink in and thanked the Lord for every bit. We're here. 

Joyful Commitment

Today, we fly out of Atlanta and make our way to Paris. Last night, we stayed at a hotel in Atlanta and invited a family over to visit that we had connected with online. They reached out a few months ago, asking about the backpack, as they have a son who would benefit from a similar setup. He is number two of four biological sons, and they have a foster boy too. Mom and Dad are church planters, high energy and passionate about family and community. Needless to say, we hit it off right away. So, we got pizza and swapped stories about growing up with disabilities and traveling. Oh, and we talked about Mine Craft too! That was fun! Before they left, the father and son gave our pack a test run and it was amazing to see the son light up as his dad stood tall. 

Over these past few months, it's been neat to see my life and story inspiring others. And I hope that's the case now too, but as this unbelievable family loaded into their van and drove off, I was overwhelmed with how much they inspired me. They're love and joyful commitment to one another - that's the stuff that changes the world. It's our message, the point of this adventure and we're intentional about conveying it, but to this family it's a natural outpouring. It's every day life and they are having a ball with it. That's the heart I long to have, and the kind of hearts I'm so thankful to be surrounded by. 


A special post from one of our carriers, Mr. Philip Keller.

Saint Christopher is so revered within the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, that, like any beloved person, the stories of his life have grown to legendary proportions.  Thankfully, as with any Saint, it is not only the historical veracity of his life, but rather his story that communicates truth.  His icon bears a striking resemblance to We Carry Kevan’s logo, and his message informs our trip. What a worthy patron! About 200 years after the life of Christ, during Decius’ reign in Rome, Christopher made a living using his great strength to carry people across a river on his shoulders. Saint Babylas of Antioch had advised Christopher that “he could best serve Christ by doing well the task for which he was best suited,” so in his search for Christ, Christopher used his physical strength to serve others. One day, as he ferried a small child, the weight inexplicably became greater with every step. Christopher feared that he and the child would drown in the raging river. When he finally made it across, the child informed Chris that the weight he bore was the sins of the world. At this point, Christopher recognized the child whom he had carried as Christ. By his service to others, Christopher had taken on Christ. It was literally Christ whom he served. Saint Matthew also taught this, writing from Jesus’s perspective: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

This river incident, and his later torture and martyrdom, demonstrates that by Saint Christopher found Christ by giving himself up.  It is from this that we get the name “Christ-opher” or “Christ-bearer.” Saint Christopher, pray to God for us!

Remembering Saints

A quick note on saints. We will explore these men more in depth later, but I have been reflecting lately on the lives of Saints Julian and Christopher. Both are considered the Patron Saints of travelers, and they share similar stories, or at least occupations. That is to say, they both were charged with the order of carrying travelers across a river. Julian did so with a boat while Christopher actually carried folks on his back. But here's what has been on my mind -- that they are Patron Saints for travel, not because they travelled, but because they made travel possible for others. 
I am humbled by the brothers who carry me, who make my journeys and my general life possible. It's incredible to me, and it's an undeniable, unapologetic picture of Christ. And this beautiful sacrifice impresses me to do the same. Maybe not in the same way, exactly, but to build others up and give of myself however I must to make their lives better, to carry them into adventure and make their dreams come true, to show them they are loved beyond their wildest imaginations. Because that's what it's all about. 

Let us be remembered, not for the opportunities we seize, but for the opportunities we make possible for others.