Anne Lamott says that in her experience the two most powerful prayers are “Help me, help me, help me.” and “Thank you, thank, you, thank you.”
We are so grateful for our recent trip to Laguna Beach, California. The Dream Factory granted our family a first-class vacation that would suit the special needs and wishes of our daughter, Kathryn. They paid for and arranged all the details of a trip that we unanimously hail as the best family vacation we have ever had. Thank you, Bene Messmer and all the volunteers and donors at The Dream Factory!
Thank you, to all the staff and volunteers at Mariner’s Church. Your Vacation Bible School was just the right thing for our family. Specifically, Holly, Curt, Bryanna, and Ellen made certain that Kathryn was loved, involved, and happy in all of the games, songs, and crafts. Kathryn had a blast, and the rest of the family got a much-needed break every day. And thanks to the woman who spontaneously offered us tickets to Disneyland; our trip was too full for it, but we sure appreciated the sweet offer.
Thank you, Jana and Ron Alayra for making such wonderful music for children and their parents. Your music and videos have helped Kathryn cope with a very difficult daily life. In addition, you have helped Julie “fight this fight” with greater joy and eternal perspective. It’s a beautiful thing to see Kathryn sing and dance in her own way to your music. We feel the touch of God in these moments.
Thank you, Pete Shambrook, for teaching David how to surf. We thoroughly enjoyed the adventure in the cold Pacific waters with the warm sun and sand. You exhibited the love of Christ to us in a really cool way. You spent hours instructing a couple of strangers in frigid waters, even giving the wetsuit off your back and taking a stingray barb in the foot for us – all with a positive attitude. We’d go to your church in a heartbeat if we lived anywhere nearby. You rock, Pete!
Thank you, to all the good people on the Laguna Beach boardwalk – the volleyball players, locals, tourists, lifeguards, and beach patrol – who were all so kind to Kathryn. It’s one of the most peaceful places on the planet that actually has people. And thanks to the kind folks at the Inn at Laguna Beach who made our stay accessible and pleasant.
It’s humbling, for sure, to receive from others, and it’s encouraging to see the joy that the givers get. Whether it’s her school teachers or the church volunteers or the kind waiter, the people who interact with Kathryn all feel that they are doing something worthwhile, and Kathryn is sure to make them feel appreciated. She has a ministry to those who minister to her.
The story of Kathryn’s dream made its way around the massive Mariner’s Church; she was quite a hit around there. Kids kept bringing their parents around to say “hi” and volunteers kept waving and smiling as we walked out each day. It goes to show that kids with special needs bring special blessings to the schools, churches, and neighbors who welcome them with open arms.
The life affected by disability is a marathon, and it requires a wide variety of people who are willing to run alongside – perhaps for many miles or just for a few yards with a cup of cold water and words of encouragement.
To all those who made Kathryn’s dream trip so special, we say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”