2020 West Palm Beach Expo Update

Well, our 10th anniversary Expo in West Palm Beach and 50th Expo overall was a memorable occasion from set-up thru tear-down with God proving all we needed and blessing folks who serve and came to be served. It definitely was not what we expected a few weeks before but God was so faithful guiding directing and providing every step of the way.

From the “BIG” pontoon boat brought all the way from Umatilla, FL by Will Wunsch and the FREE ice cream provided by the Ice Cram Club to the 14 person canoe brought by Stirring Waters Ministry and the patient horse that so many painted brought out by Horses that Help, there was so much to be thankful for at this year’s Expo.

While this year’s attendance of 864 was much lower than usual, the 37 local organizations and businesses including 5 churches showed that this community cares about the people living with disabilities in their area.

From the King’s Academy collecting snacks and goodies they then stuffed in the special 10th anniversary Expo back packs and Palm Beach Atlantic Workship bringing out key volunteers for set-up, the event and tear-down to the American Heritage Girls covering all the popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy needs and so many veteran and new volunteers stepping in and up to get the job done, the Body Christ came together to shine the light and love of Jesus on so many that day.

WAS IT WHAT WE EXPECTED? NO

WAS IT A GREAT DAY? YES

2020 Belize Expo Update by Nanette Ryan

While every day of our week in Belize is spent on worthwhile activities, the culmination is the Expo Day on Saturday, when we welcome people to come and enjoy activities and we distribute wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and canes and other medical supplies that are donated and shipped from the U.S. This year on Saturday we woke up to a rain storm that continued throughout the set-up As the participants started to arrive before the Expo began, we helped them to a covered area to wait.

Once the Expo got underway, the rain stopped and things started to dry out. Many people came to the Expo carried in the arms of care-givers and volunteers who helped to get them to the seating area. Others left their homes at 3:00 in the morning and traveled many miles to attend the Expo. To see the joy on their faces once they received a wheelchair or walked to help them be more mobile was a priceless gift no matter how many times it occurred.

We also provided games, crafts, art and prayer/care stations for participants to enjoy while they waited to receive medical equipment.

Two young girls, both with physical disabilities, and are best friends came with their mothers. As each girl was fitted with a power chair, their faces lit up as they realized that their friend was getting a chair too! Receiving a chair changed their outlook on life and will impact their ability to gain independence as they grow up. One of the moms commented that now she could let her daughter go to the store and to school on her own. Parents of children with disabilities can have a lighter burden.

Twin brothers in their early twenties who have Cerebral Palsy also came to the Expo and were fitted with power chairs to replace manual chairs that no longer fit their bodies. Their mother shared that her sons attend university and one of the boys will be graduating with his Associates degree in Information Technology in the Spring.

One of the ways that volunteers touch lives on Expo Day is at the Prayer and Care tent. Participants usually come to the tent and are able to share prayer requests and receive prayer, as well as other activities like having their nails done. This year, some of the volunteers saw that participants were unable to come to the tent or didn’t want to miss hearing their name being called when it was their turn to get fitted for medical equipment. The volunteers decided to go to the people and offer a listening ear and prayer and many requests and praises were shared.

At the end of Expo Day, we were able to distribute 63 wheelchairs and counted 235 participants and volunteers who came to the event.

In the team share time on Sunday morning, one team member said that seeing people come in being carried and then leave rejoicing reminded her of her own challenges and used the analogy of climbing a mountain and finally reaching the top to see the beautiful view. It is the heart of Access-Life to be able to lift the burden and remove the barriers for people and to help them to come to Jesus (Luke 5:17-21).

2019 ETN Expo Update – 10th Anniversary Celebration

What an amazing 10th anniversary Expo celebration God gave us on Saturday! From the wonderful sunshine, great lunch by Shady Grove Methodist church [I had a tomato sandwich and a hot dog :) ] and awesome activities like the zip line, rockwall, animals, fishing, kayaking, dunk tank and more to the nearly 1,000 attendees, over 600 folks who received boat rides and over 2,200 bottles of water given out thanks to the Macedonia Missionary Baptist church, it was a HUGE GOD BLESSED SUCCESS.

It took a lot of hard work by a lot of people to set-up, execute and tear-down everything on Friday and Saturday but we know it was worth it as the smiles of joy on so many faces was a great reward. We were truly inspired seeing the Body of Christ come together and not only serve the community of East Tennessee but minister specifically to the individuals and families living with disabilities within the larger area community. God’s unexplainable economy of blessing and being blessed was the product of all those who prayed, gave, shared and served and it made a BIG DIFFERENCE in the lives of many in need of being touched by God in a special way that day.

There were local 13 churches, 11 area organizations and 12 regional businesses that came together for the outreach on top of all the wonderful volunteers that served, sweated and smiled that day. From First Methodist Dandridge and Jefferson City providing logistical and leadership support, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office providing free traffic support, Grant’s Chapel hosting our meetings and managing registration and New Freedom Missionary Baptist church bringing out 48 volunteers to First Baptist Dandridge and Lighthouse church collecting snacks, the Rutledge Fire Department providing water for the dunk tank, the Sunshine Shine Ambassadors dance performance and Tennova manning the first aide booth, it took the whole community to make the outreach happen. AND we want to put in a special call out to those who helped with set-up and tear-down. God knows who you are and you do too so THANK YOU for the extra help.

We have upload some special photos to the ETN Expo page on our website at http://www.access-life.org/etnexpo in case you’d like to see more smiles and things on social media are all tagged #ETNEXPO2019 and #accesslifeexpo so feel free to upload, download and share things there, too.

IT WAS TEN YEARS IN THE MAKING AND WHAT A MEMORY GOD GAVE US ALL THIS YEAR. :)

2019 North Texas Expo Update

Well, God was so faithful in giving us another great Expo in NTX on Saturday! He did amazing things as always working through the hearts and minds of His people to bless others in His name. And to think 3 weeks ago we did not even have a site due to the flooding!

The smiles and joy of the Lord seen on so  many of the 808 participant, volunteer and even exhibitor faces was clear evidence of God’s presence and working to touch lives as only He can. From the horse painting, zip line and delicious food to the rock wall, petting zoo and gracious welcoming cheers, we heard lots of thank yous from attendees through out the day and afterwards. :)

As one mom of three boys including one with a disability put it, “Thank you so much for all the work you do to pull this event together.  My boys attended this year and last year and really had a wonderful time.” Just as importantly, she went on to say, “Your event really helps give true perspective about life to all 3 of my boys.”

Please know that Leanne and I so appreciate everyone who prayed, gave, networked and served! It is always encouraging to see the awesome blessings God pours out when His people come together as the body of Christ to be the hand and feet of Jesus here on earth! So thank you for all everyone did to make this Expo another God blessed success and a special call out to our super intern, Julia [who is a “get’r done: gal], our host, Valley Ranch Baptist [who graciously opened up our facility for our use], the Venture Church youth [who worked tirelessly all day for set-up as well as serving during the event and even staying to help tear down and load the equipment trailer] and of course Gateway church [who provided over 100 buddies], too!

If you’d like to see more photos you can follow the link to NTX Expo photo gallery on our website: https://access-life.org/ntxexpo and we even have a video of the zip line at: https://videopress.com/v/ESwBWhMi.

We hope to be back at the lake next year so be ready for the boat rides, kayaking and fishing again!

2019 West Palm Beach Expo Update

Wow, what a great day God gave us for the 9th Expo in West Palm Beach! Set-up on Friday was long but the rewards were sweet on Saturday as God blessed us with 1,235 attendees this year. This was a bit below last year’s count of 1,307 but still an outstanding turnout. The weather was beautiful with temperatures in the low 80s and a good breeze to keep folks refreshed, too. PTL!

It was such an encouraging sight to see the joy of the Lord on many faces and the smiles abounding as God brought heaven to earth in so many ways all day long. Our cheerline was again an awesome event welcome for each participant but the two people who prayed to receive Christ that day had all of heaven rejoicing even more!

We also served 1,352 hamburgers and gave boat rides to over 400 attendees on top of having the Ice Cream Club serving FREE ice cream all day. The rockwall was a big first time bonus for many participants, too.

All in all, it another God blessed Expo with His presence graciously there working in each persons life. In case you missed the event or would like to see all the smiles again, here is a link to the West Palm Beach photo gallery page: https://access-life.com/wpbexpo. Hope you enjoy the collage and pics here, too. :)