Today he's running 12-minute miles and continues to have feeling return. He's just come out with a book about the experience: A Walking Miracle.
I have been involved with an organization called Joni and Friends. This organization was founded in 1978 by a young woman who sustained a spinal cord injury in a diving accident. This group ministers to people with disabilities both in the United States and abroad. One part of the work that they do is to deliver used and refurbished wheelchairs and other equipment such as walkers and canes to parts of the world where these items are difficult to obtain, if not impossible, without outside help.
I have been on three separate trips to Cuba and one trip to Peru as a seating specialist. It has been my responsibility to help each person to receive the wheelchair that they need. Many people come to us with difficult circumstances, crawling or being carried. Some have very little opportunity to leave their home or their bed because they have no means of getting out. One young mother described to me that she went to school with her child every day and held him on her lap so that he could learn. One man, in his 50's scooted in on his bottom. There are so many stories. Often family members, and the recipients cry tears of joy when they receive their gift of a wheelchair. In addition to the gift of a wheelchair, each person is cared for by team members from their country. They are offered the gift of a Bible and spiritual care and support. People and their families are touched by the gospel, and there are many who receive salvation.
I am currently planning a trip to Poland for June 8-21st, 2007. I am going with a small team of seating specialists, mechanics, and support persons to do deliveries of 400 wheelchairs in 8 different cities. Poland is a country with a struggling economy, and a health system that experiences many shortages in supply and personnel. I would be extremely grateful if you would pray for this trip- that God's will would be done, for spiritual, emotional and physical protection for the group, and most of all for the recipients- that they would come to know the love of Christ and be fit especially well for their new wheelchair. If you are interested in contributing to the cost of this trip (It will be around $3,000) you can make a check out to: Joni & Friends (put my name and Poland 2007 on the memo line).
Friday night I'll portray CB Jernigan for the District Assembly of the Metro New York Church of the Nazarene. We're celebrating our centenial, and Jernigan was the District's superintendant in the 1920s. He, like I, moved from the country to the biggest city in the US. Most of the words of Jernigan's speech on Friday is taken directly from his book From the Prairie Schooner in Texas to a City Flat in New York. I stumbled upon the text of the book online. Click here.
If you've always wanted to get to Scotland, mark your calendar for dates between August 13 and 27. Tickets go on sale June 11.
There is the potential to share the inspiring story with people from all over the world.
There are producers looking to pick up shows, and we're hoping for some to catch the vision for taking the play to the Beijing Olympics.
We're investing about $US6,000. We're going as an outreach of our church, so if your interested making a donation, make checks payable to Westchester Chapel. In the memo line write Emmaus Arts--Fringe. Send to:
214 Central Ave.
White Plains, NY 10606
Rich and Joyce
Despite his weighty credentials, John made every effort to encourage students in and out of his master classes. His great wisdom is delivered with great care. I was thrilled to see that he enjoyed his time with us so much that he flew himself and his assistant Nathan Nesbitt back from LA to see our final performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I figured if he saw our vision that clearly he might be open to returning, as indeed he will be.
Patricia Mauceri of One Life to Live, will put her Julliard training to work directing us in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. When I was a college student our school's production of the play impacted me so strongly that I wrote a play directly influenced by Miller's brilliant work. The themes of justice, morality and guilt are quite powerfully penned, and it's my prayer that many will come away inspired as I was at my first encounter with it.
Ken Wales is returning to teach some master classes. He was the producer of Christy and a dozen films. Most recently he produced Amazing Grace, the powerful story of how William Wilberforce spearheaded the abolition of the British slave trade. Ken will teach a couple of master classes and is looking forward to spending time with individuals talking about their dreams. It's no wonder he enjoys giving back: Walt Disney himself did the favor for him when he was a budding artist.
Our annual improv night is about to kick it up a notch. We're bringing in Mark Oppenlander, who was the team captain of the improv troupe for Taproot Theatre, the professional Christian theatre company in Seattle, which has sent us a number of great artists in the past. Mark is going to spend several sessions getting us up to speed and will take part in the final performance himself.
Susan Somerville Brown, who performed on Broadway in CATS will lend her buoyant spirit to the faculty once again.
I so wish I could have attended something like this when I was a young actor!
The deadline is extended to May 20. Apply now, and/or forward this to someone who might be interested. Go to MasterWorksFestival.org for an application and more info.
I just heard from AIA registrars from Montreal staying in our hotel that there are about 20,000 architects and related vendors at this conference. That speaks to how quickly we're growing.