Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blowing Bubbles


Remember the Bubble?
I promised that whenever I was feeling a little
too "me" centered 
that I'd introduce you to 
heroes and friends
that inspires
me 
deeply.
Friends out there,
meet
Bill and Donna Cody!!!!!!!

I met Bill several years ago when my friend Matt
was planning a major life change
by moving to 
East Africa.
(he gets his own posting later.)
Matt brought Bill in to communicate
to a group of us
what Matt was getting involved in.
I was immediately impressed by
his gift of communication
but also his
insanely natural commitment to
compassion.
He is so compassionate for people
to experience real
Love
that he will go to the "hard places."
When I say
"hard places"
I mean the places that people do NOT go!
Dangerous places. 
Unfriendly places. 
Uncomfortable places.
So by the end of that night, of him communicating
Matt's mission,
I left with a deep overwhelming respect for him.

So as time goes on,
Bill and his deliciously, spunky, vibrant, and gorgeous wife Donna,



soon moved into our community 
and we received the special gift
of knowing them
as 
FRIENDS!

I value this couple so much
that I strive for the 
words to honor them
accurately.


Humble.
Compassionate.
Sincere.
There is a Light in their Eyes.
Disarming
in that insecurities melt in their company.
Unpretentious
in that they are the kind of people who might
just show up on your step because they just 
baked chocolate chip cookies and they
wanted to share.
Funny.
Accepting.
Inclusive
in that they are easy to get to know.
There are no hoops to jump through 
or feelings of needing to be 
"on good behavior" 
to be their friends.
You just are.
Passionate.
I feel like they are passionate in a 
"quiet storm" 
kind of way.
In a "not-talking-about" 
but 
DOING kind of way.

I'm sure if they were reading this now 
(I hope that they are)
they'd be rolling their eyes 
or laughing
and 
probably thinking that they 
aren't unique in any way,
they're just living the way they 
know how
or are "called" to live
but 
I am saying 
YES YOU ARE!
You are unique
in every kind of way
and worthy of honor.

I want to tell you a little story
about what I mean
about
"not-talking.." 
but DOING!
Last December we had dinner with Bill and Donna.
Bill told a story about how had just read a Call + Response article
and then moments later
read a newspaper article about how children
in Haiti
were being trafficked into the
Dominican Republic, 
in grossly increasing numbers after the quake.
In his humble and quiet way,
with glossy eyes said to us,
"I can't NOT go."
And we proceeded to watch a man who is 
QUICK TO OBEY
work with single minded focus
to 
go 
and 
diligently
pursue
how he could help.
That was last December.
Friends,
meet

In very little time,
two trips under his belt,
met an amazing Haitian woman
who cared for orphans
on the little island of La Gonave.



Bill was able to facilitate 
a cooperative 
of communities from all over the world
to care for the needs 
of this woman who cares for orphans.
She just keeps taking them in!
In an amount of time
too short to comprehend,
(remember "I can't NOT go"
was only 10 months ago)
he has lead the effort to buy land for these orphans,
plant a permanent person on the ground,


photo by Addison Searles

to communicate needs and supervise improvements,
build a secure fence around the new property,



and 
communicate to all of us the joys of participating with
this incredible gift of change
and life
to these people.


He would say that it's because of the amazing people 
around him responding
and being enthusiastic and quick to help.
He'd say that it's God
and he's just responding in real time
as God lines things up.
Probably true.
But what I respect about Bill and Donna
is that they are walking out
what is available for
anybody
that has passion, humility, and a fierceness
to be
QUICK TO OBEY.

photos by Matt Smith

My Bubble 
is very resistant to this kind of life.
That's why I am so thankful
when I get to walk 
alongside
friends
who when you look in their eyes, 
 the bubble just
!pops!

photos by Matt Smith

So that was a neat story,
don't you agree?
I've got the joy of seeing it from 
vision to REAL LIFE!
I can't wait to go
and be there
myself.
I want to 
OKIPE!
I want to meet all these beautiful people in person.

I just want to honor Bill a little bit more 
because while all of this
transformation
has been happening in 
Haiti,
he has still been
committed
and fearlessly going
to those
"hard places"
 I mentioned earlier.
And living as humbly as if it's all
"no big deal."
So, 
now that you know Bill and Donna,
you are also their 
friends.
AND TODAY IS 
BILL'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's what he wants for his birthday.
(here's my attempt to post his email)
It worked! Here's the script directly from his lips.





Hello Friends : )
I am turning 46 years old this Wednesday and I know what I want for my birthday!  lol

I’d like to invite everyone to join me in helping orphans in Haiti.  
I’ve recently noticed how some people dedicate their birthday to a small, grassroots fundraising event for a good cause.  Although this may annoy some, I certainly don’t mean to irritate : )  I just thought this was a good idea and I would love to introduce you all to my favorite, recent humanitarian project : )  I am personally involved in this project and have been to Haiti three times this year to help.
Check out www.okipe.org for some great pics and story!
I recently took an $800 grassroots fundraising challenge for orphan children of Okipe.  I am turning over every dollar I receive from family and friends for my birthday to them and the project which will build them safe shelter.  If 80 peeps gave me $10, we'd hit the target!
Will you join me?  How does it work, you ask?  Well, we’re going to do this one the ‘ol fashion way for now... Please mail your check to me at my house (before the Post Office goes bankrupt!) 

891 S. J St. Livermore, Ca 94550... Don’t bother with money spent on a card... but if you want to send a smiley face on a lil scrap piece of paper, I’ll smile too : )  
Thanks for considering this request!
Peace,
Bill



THAT'S BILL! 
Now wouldn't it be fun,
since you're all friends now,
to blow his birthday goal 
out of the water?
Really,
it's not even for him.
That's the cool thing.
It's for the beautiful faces you
see sprinkled throughout this post.
And thanks for letting me introduce you
to someone who
I consider
a hero and friend,
who inspires me deeply.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL!











2 comments:

  1. WOW! thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love sharing about Okipe. It's so exciting and it makes my heart full to see the changes developing so quick!

    ReplyDelete