Well, we held our 1st ever Big Wheel Deal wheelchair basketball game in JAX and from the players, contestants, dance team and cheerleaders to the fans, blue/green girl and kangaroo, it was a God blessed success full of fun and fellowship!
The scoring was a little slim with the GREEN TEAM winning 16-8 over the BLUE TEAM but wow, what hustle and heart they all showed on the court even getting up again and again and again from flips, falls and wheels falling off.
Below is a photo collage highlighting some of the action and I hope you enjoy the smiles.
For the second time in two years, an Access-Life East Tennessee Outpost Ice Cream Social was held at Shady Grove Methodist Church in Dandridge, TN. This year’s old fashioned gathering was on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27th with 52 persons present.
After an opening prayer, participants played arcade games (including corn hole, ball tosses, golf, ring toss, bean bag throw, and blinco ), played bingo, and helped draw a picture of a farm. They also made their own healthy trail mix from a choice of nuts, grains and dried fruits after designing their own jar from a series of crafting items. This by far was the biggest hit of the day. A prayer and care center allowed participants to either write a prayer request or share it personally as well as have someone pray with them, too.
Ice cream and cookies were served by church mission team members and upon leaving, participants got to choose from a selection of prizes to take home along with their trail mix. it was apparent that everyone in attendance received a wonderful blessing of God’s love. :)
Well, God did it again. What a wonderful day we had Saturday for our 5th anniversary Expo celebration in Ocoee! The weather was amazing from the intermitten cload cover to the afternoon breeze off the lake and there were even several comments by folks that day on the peaceful but joyous flow that many sensed as they partiipated in the various activities. The boat rides and pony painting were the BIG HITS of the day but the cheerline, new tye dye t-shirt art, petting zoo and great lunch were also sources of many smiles. The old ministry trailer was nearly half full of mobility items and medical supplies and is now in SFL ready to be put on a container to go to Belize, too!
Overall, it looks like our numbers were a bit down from last year (less than 600 vs nearly 700 last year) though. We’re not sure why as everyone seemed to like moving things up a month and the weather was pretty awesome. Heard there may have been some other disability related events that day but as we’ve always said we are there for whoever God brings to be blessed. Case in point, there were over 60 kids presented the Gospel on Saturday by the Child Evangelism Fellowship face painters and 4 prayed to receive Christ! What an awesome joy to know we were all a small party of God’s work in these kidos’ lives and seeing the presence of the Lord covering the event with His blessings is our hope and prayer for each outreach!
Below is a photo collage for everyone to enjoy, forward, post and share as God leads. I hope seeing the smiles will put a big smile on your face. I know it did mine!
We just had our 6th Expo in ETN this past August 22nd and as always God was faithful to show up before, during and after the outreach as funding goals were topped, attendance records set and despite having a new venue logistics came together in a Divine way including building our own accessible boardwalk with donated lumber along the gravel shoreline.
Temperatures were moderate as God blessed us with wonderful weather and when combined with the many smiles seen on both participant and volunteer faces, it was obvious that the Lord’s presence was there touching lives as only He can. We heard lots of thank yous and great feedback on the new location and are so glad that all the activities went well blessing those who participated including the new tye dye t-shirt booth and airsoft rifle station.
Below is a photo collage so you can see a few of the moments God brought together thru the 921 attendees that day. I hope you enjoy the smiles and have a God blessed week, too!
I wanted to share that we had the privilege of taking a few folks with disabilities who live in Maryville, TN fishing last week. They met us at the dock in Dandridge, TN around 9am with a couple other staff from the facility where they live after an early and long bus ride and their excitement about being there really made us smile. Two of the folks used wheel chairs so after setting-up the ramp and loading everyone onto my dad’s pontoon away we went to find some fish!
It was such a blessing to spend time with these folks as they were so thankful to be out on the water. We even caught a few fish bringing bonus smiles to everyone’s faces. Smitty, who has been living at the facility for 5 year’s following a year long hospital stay, said it was the best day he has had in the past 6 year’s since his accident.
Hope you can see some of the joy we experienced that day through the photos here and let us know if anyone is ever interested in taking folks out on a fish grant like this in the future. We get requests from time to time and are always looking for fishermen interested in sharing their love for the outdoors with others living with disabilities.
I wanted to share what a great day God gave us Saturday for the 4th NTX Expo! It was our 27th outreach overall and althought we had to relocate things just 10 days before the event due to flooding on Lake Grapeving (25 feet above normal pool), God came through and provided all we needed. :)
Haven’s Horses, a local ministry partner with a 55 acre ranch close by hosted things temporarily this year and even though we didn’t have the usual boat rides and kayaking, there was a pond for fishing and all the other standard activities available plus lots of ranch fun like horse rides, pony painting, long hay rides, practice roping, Texas BBQ and more.
I could carry on about how well things went including our turn out of around 800 folks but think the email I received from a mom who brought out her son with special needs sums it up better.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goddard,
I wanted to thank you and all the volunteers for putting on such a wonderful Expo for children with disabilities (We attended the North Texas Expo today). My 4-year-old son who has autism had an excellent time and loved every moment he spent there. He came home in a very happy mood after having a tough week. I am sure I speak on behalf of all families who have attended that we feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to take our children to this event. Even with the relocation, it was an amazingly well run Expo, well stocked and all the volunteers and vendors were incredibly gracious. We could not have asked for a better day. Wow.
Below is a photo collage of the days smiles and activities so I hope you enjoy it and are blessed by all God did!
Thank you all so much for your support through prayer, service and giving of our Crafting a Community in ETN banquet last Thursday night. It was our best fundraiser here to date with over 150 folks in attendance and performances by both the Sunshine Ambassadors and the Hidden Treasures Academy Ringers.
All in all, God provided over $18,000 through our matching gift challenge, onsite donations and auction item sales topping last year’s total by nearly $1,000! We are still finalizing the exact totals as gifts are still being received but we’ll have an official count at the ETN Expo kickoff meeting this Thursday night at 7pm.
God is always so faithful in His provision for His work through Access-Life and Leanne and I want you to know we so appreciate you all and however you contributed to this God blessed success.