Last night I had a rare opportunity, for a few reasons however in the post I will only share the one, the most important reason. How many chances do you have in life to stand in front of a large group of people whose generosity has changed your life? I can honestly say that I have never been granted that chance before. I have been on the receiving end of generosity before, I have seen God working through other people many times and I have always been able to write a thank you note, an article or some other way to get my words across to the people who have made a difference but last night was different. Some of you know, but some of you newer readers don't so I will share and those who know will need to bare with me. Two times in recent years our family has been blessed in ways that changed our sons life, and ours as a result. The Bishops Company explained on the link provided stepped in twice in recent years to help us when Josh was accepted in the Centennial Infant Child care centre (which we could not afford) but which Joshua desperately needed in order to help him learn to talk and communicate. When he started he could not even say his name, yet by the end of the year he was using two, sometimes three word sentences. They also stepped in last summer when all hope had been lost for OHIP covered language therapy but knew that private therapy at the frequency that Josh required was also going to be out of reach for us. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to not be able to get your son the help he needs... some of you readers know that feeling only too well. I pray you don't need to find out if you are reading this and don't know what that feels like. However, after hearing of our situation the Archbishop Colin Johnson stepped in and offered through the Bishops company to help us cover the therapy bills.
This is why I say that their generosity changed our lives. It changed Joshuas life and gave us hope, encouragement and the endurace to keep going, keep fighting for our son, keep dreaming of a brighter tomorrow for him.
Last night the Bishops company hosted it's annual Dinner and Silent auction and Tim and I were to given the chance to stand before these people and say thank you. A rare opportunity indeed.
I have to admit I was terrified going into that hotel last night, every worst case scenario ran through my mind all the way from tripping on my heels while walking to the podium (which to my horror included steps) to flubbing lines or crying like a baby. Tim started the 5 minute talk with a brief rundown of Joshuas medical history, the things I often find it hard to speak of without emotion and I was to talk about the way we used the money, what it meant to us and to say thank you. I did okay, I managed to stay (mostly) on script, but I did however start crying (much to my horror). At the end of my part I had made a short video clip of Josh himself saying 'Thank you Bishops Company" with the added flourish of him throwing his arms it the air with triumph (no coaching on that one). The clapping ended and Tim and I took our seats. Looking into that crown of something like 500 people was probably the most nervous I have ever felt, yet at the same time these were the very people who give so generously so that people like Josh can get help when they need it. It was such an absolute honor to stand before them, tears or not, and have a chance to verbally say thank you. To let them know that the money they were giving was not just being socked away in an account somewhere gaining interest, it was in fact changing lives. What a gift last night was.
I have said it before, but I feel the need to say it again... I have never seen so many beautiful hearts joining together to help people the way that I have seen people gather around us for the last five years. It's such a testament to who these people are, not just the Bishops Company, but the men and women we have come to know and love at St. Pauls and now through Little T, and of course many others who have reached out to offer prayers, hope, renewal and love. I know the world sucks sometimes, I know that there is evil there, but I also know that the Kingdom of God is alive and well. So again, from the bottom of my heart and Tims... and of course Joshua's. THANK YOU!
* an update to this post... I was interview after the dinner and this is the article that the Anglican Diocese released today.