24Aug, 2009

Staff blog: John H.

  • I Am Second

As project manager of the I am Second movement for e3 Partners I have been known to keep some late nights. Sometimes it’s prepping for a presentation or a day of video interviews. At other times it’s sending e-mails to folks going over the checklist of tasks to accomplish the next day.

Or it could be reviewing the latest rough cut of a feature conducted by our outstanding video partners Scott Mayo and Sam Ditore. It could be perusing the latest photographs by Trey Hill and Stanley Tongai; reading a blog entry by Shannon Culpepper or Victoria Childress: getting a peak at the latest creativity from Adam Leydig and Kristin Baxter; going over notes from meetings with our visionaries and strategists Nathan Sheets and Mike Jorgensen, organizing an event with Kristin DeRight and Bobbie Arnett; going over web applications with Rod Bayron and Josh Widener; hearing any number of ideas with curriculum writer Doug Bender; deciding on Google adwords with Rebekah Russom; or interfacing with our numerous outside vendors and are incoming staff Andrew McAlyea and Chris Plekenpol.

I spend a lot of time thinking about my I am Second colleagues and the great work they are doing. But last Friday night I was up late thinking about someone else. In fact I was praying for him.

I was praying for Ralph Brown because of his latest blog post on the Crosstheatlantic.com website. You see, Ralph and his brother Bob embarked at the end of July on an incredible journey—sailing a 21-foot flats boat (designed to run in very shallow water) from Florida, up the coats of the US and Canada and then across the Atlantic via Greenland, Iceland and other islands in between. He left on June 24. Now about two months later, over two thirds of the way there, Ralph’s blog asked me to pray for them.

They were almost to the Faroe Islands (in between Iceland and Ireland), racing ahead of some monster storms. They were battling 10 foot high waves in their little boat and 12 hours earlier were 104 miles away from their next stop. I was eagerly waiting for their next blog post to inform us that they had arrived safely. So in the meantime I prayed for their safety so they can accomplish their mission of sailing across the Atlantic in this vessel and eventually on to Germany. And as things turned out, they needed my prayers, as 10 miles from docking they become lost in some of the most dangerous waters anywhere. Only by God’s grace and help did they survive.

Yes, they are setting new world records with this trip. But there is much more significance to it. I urge you to go to the website and read about their story. You’ll read about a man passionate about honoring three fellow soldiers who were killed attempting to rescue Americans being held by Iran 30 years ago. This trip is to remember their valor, and to raise money for wounded heroes who similarly have put their lives on the line.

I am Second and our friends at Interstate Batteries were impressed enough by Ralph’s perseverance and passion to help sponsor the boat for this crazy adventure. We felt that doing so could help raise awareness of the mission to the point that others could get involved as well. Some companies, including Panasonic’s Toughbook computers have done so in small ways. And there have been individuals who have donated for gas and other expenses. But to really be successful in raising money for wounded heroes they need to have grassroots support of many people to buy a t-shirt and have the proceeds go to the wounded heroes.

Ralph’s slogan for the trip is “Do more than just say thanks.” What an I am Second attitude that is! When conviction comes into our lives, is our response to be just the bare minimum? When Christ wants to unleash us in ministry or outreach, are we to be lazy in our approach?When we are compelled or blessed by the Lord, we are to do more than just be grateful. We are to be obedient to His involvement in our lives and follow it to the fullest

I urge you to join in praying for their mission. They need it!! Also, please go to cross theatlantic.com, check it out, read their blogs and buy a t-shirt. Do more than just hear about the trip. Please support it.

John Humphrey