2020 East Tennessee Expo Update: “Epic”

From the new medical protocols and limited capacity time slot guidelines to the loads of liquid sunshine we received on Saturday, this year’s ETN EXPO was anything but typical.

It was so encouraging and even inspiring to see all of our Access-Life volunteers from area churches and community organizations COME TOGETHER and PERSEVERE to BLESS individuals and families living with disabilities locally in the name of Jesus and in turn be BLESSED in ways none of us could imagine.

However, what was more IMPACTING and even HUMBLING was seeing the participants who came out in ponchos, rain jackets and umbrellas to be a part of this 11th annual outreach! The activities were limited and the weather was better for ducks than people but the THANK YOUS and spirit of GRATITUDE abounded throughout the park and day. So many participants expressed how GLAD they were that we were able to have the Expo in East Tennessee in 2020 as they look forward to attending every year and felt it was especially IMPORTANT to hold it this year as the NEED for CONNECTION was so great during these uncertain times.

There were the usual blessings to be found at the “EPIC” 2020 ETN Expo seeing smiles of joy, fellowship of friendship and God’s beautiful outdoors. However, this year’s outreach was also “SYMBOLIC” in many deeper ways as God made a way where there was no way. Hopefully, the miracles he performed and the work He did in the hearts of our Access-Life team members to make things happen will speak volumes to those living with disability in the area. We pray that the truth of God’s love and gospel were seen in action and that those impacted by disabilities locally now know that by God’s grace not only are we here for them “RAIN OR SHINE” but God is there for them no matter the circumstance.

This year’s ETN Expo impacted us so much that we are adopting “4 the 1” as our ministry motto. This simply put means all we do is “4 the 1” we serve who is Jesus and “4 the 1” who needs to be touched by Jesus. Philippians 4:13 is still our ministry verse and “BRIDGING THE GAP” is still our tagline but the concept of “4 the 1” is a guiding principle to remind us that we are not doing what we do for the applause of man nor are we doing it for the highest volume of attendees we can draw. We are doing it all “4 the 1”. :)

Here is part of an email we received from the mom of a participating family that we believe sums it up pretty well.

I just want to thank you and all of the volunteers for your hard work on this event. In spite of the pandemic and some pretty dismal weather today, it was a tremendous event.

My 21 year old son with Downs Syndrome has seen every single activity he normally participates in cancelled since March, including the last several weeks of his final year in public school. He was beyond happy today. Every volunteer went above and beyond (as they always do at this event) to make sure he was safe and happy.

The gentleman who took us out on the boat gave us an extra-long ride since it was raining hard and not many people were waiting. He gave us a lot of the local history, pointing out interesting things and telling us who lived or had lived in some of the houses. It was all very interesting, and a nice break for my husband and I too, since we have left the house infrequently since COVID starting shutting things down. It was a very enjoyable ride.

The people who give so generously of their time and love are blessings beyond measure, especially for the fragile members of our society. I can’t thank you and them enough for today and all of the other days we have enjoyed with your group through the years. See you next year, rain or shine!

If you’d like to see more pictures from the “EPIC” outreach we’ve uploaded lots to our ETN Expo page at: https://access-life.org/etnexpo. WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM AND ARE BLESSED BY IT ALL!

Access-Life “3 in 3” – August 17, 2020: At the EPIC ETN Expo

First ever #AL3IN3 at an actual Expo! In fact, it wast the EPIC #ETNEXPO2020 this past Saturday. You can hear the rain pouring in the background. :) Still got a great joke, encouraging scripture and Access-Life, Inc. update with an uplifting message as a BONUS so check it out and HAVE A GOD BLESSED WEEK!

Access-Life “3 IN 3” – August 10, 2020: At the ETN Expo Site

Ok, boys and girls of all AGES and ABILITIES, the #ETNEXPO2020 is just 5 days away and in turn, this weeks #AL3IN3 is onsite at the outreach park! Julia Codispoti and Morgan Coffey even share about their past experiences as buddies at the event here in Tennessee. :) So check out the scenery, stories, humor, scripture and ministry update and have a GOD BLESSED WEEK.

Access-Life “3 in 3” – August 3, 2020: Back on the Farm

We’ve had a request to show more of my family’s farm while we are in Tennessee getting ready for the #ETNEXPO2020 on 8/15. So here is my favorite spot on the farm as our backdrop in this week’s #AL3IN3! It may not be the prettiest place on the farm but it brings back a lots of fond memories. :) We are privileged to have a special joke from my five year old niece, Wallis Mae, too so check it out and may God bless you in a special way this week. :)

Access-Life “3 in 3” – July 27, 2020: Historic Location on the Lake

Here is this week’s #AL3IN3 with Senior Intern, Julia Codispoti, #ETNEXPO2020 Intern, Morgan Coffey, me [Doug] and as always the Access-Life‘s First Lady, Leanne Goddard manning the audio visual items. :) It is at a milestone location, has an #intergenerationalministry joke, rock solid verse and special BIRTHDAY update. So check it out and have a God blessed week!

Access-Life “3 in 3” – July 20, 2020: Home Sweet Home

First ever #AL3IN3 to come to you straight from the VOLUNTEER STATE of TENNESSEE! In fact, we are at my parents house on the farm where I grew up. :) We are working on specifics for the #ETNEXPO2020 on 8/15 but have some great scenery, a joke that’ll make you think, a scripture on how much God loves us and even the Access-Life BUZZ! So check it out, be encouraged, hang in there and have a GOD BLESSED WEEK :)

Access-Life “3 in 3” – July 13, 2020: Exponentially Powerful

Happy Monday family and friends of all ages and abilities! It’s time for the Access-Life #3IN3 and boy do we have an episode full of laughs, inspiration and news for you this week. :) That’s right, with Ms Julia Codispoti in Tennessee and #ALROYALAMBASSADOR, Big Dave in Deland, Florida, it is just Leanne Linville Goddard, #ALMASCOTTLULU and me [Doug] left here in Umatilla, FL. However, we are a small but ambitious group of overachievers so get ready as the 3 of us give you 3 perky jokes, 3 Bible verses, and 3 ministry updates in just 3 minutes…..well, actually 5 minutes. :) It is still some fun, encouraging and informational stuff and we hope brightens your day. So check it out and share it with someone who may need a extra boost this week!

Access-Life “3 in 3” – July 6, 2020: Big Dave throwing Shoes?

Hope everyone had a great Independence Day holiday and is ready for a God blessed week! To kick things off right we have a fresh Access-Life”3 in 3″ for you. They finally let me back in front of the camera but I’m not alone as #ALROYALAMBASSADOR, Dave Browne is back by popular demand joining me in bautiful Umatilla, Florida. We have a “punny” joke with physical and musical props, an encouraging verse on prayer and some “newsy” ministry updates so check it out and God bless everyone. 

Access-Life “3 in 3” – June 29, 2020: Big Dave on Camera

Happy Monday, Access-Life family and friends! It’s time for our weekly #AL3IN3 and this week joining our guest hostess, Julia Codispoti is long time ministry #ALROYALAMBASSADOR, David Browne! They’ve got joke props, some great verses and a holiday ministry update so check it out and may God bless you all in a special way this week. 

Access-Life “3 in 3” – June 22, 2020: Julia Flies Solo

Happy Monday Access-Life family and friends! We hope and pray you had a great FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND and are ready for a God blessed week. :) Today for our weekly “3 in 3” we are privileged to have our Senior Intern, Julia Codispoti who grew-up in my own hometown of Dandride, TN flying solo as our video host. She’ll still be sharing a punny joke, encouraging scripture and new ministry update so check it out!