On the first weekend In December, for several years, I have had the opportunity to go to the Tryad retreat at the beach. It was started by my friend David O’Brian who had cerebral palsy. After graduating from Echola Bible School, he made his home in Cannon Beach Oregon. He was passionate about sharing the love of God with everyone especially those who also had disabilities.
Since he knew that many of his handicapped friends didn’t get to go to the beach, he decided to invite them to Cannon Beach Oregon for fun and fellowship. In fact throughout the many years, as friendships developed the conference felt like a family reunion. Several of the people had very fragile physical conditions and needed specialized care, so just arranging transportation was pretty complicated. The students, from Ecola helped at conference. Many of them didn’t have any previous experience with people with disabilities until they met us. It felt a bit awkward for each of us for a while but it didn’t take long before friendships were formed.
David took great care in choosing people to lead worship and speakers who share the Word of God.
Planning for such an event must have felt like a daunting task, especially since he needed assistance with own basic needs. But, as David prayed God always answered and people stepped forward to help his plan take shape. No matter what was thrown in front of him, he never gave up. He example will always give me courage to continue doing the things God has put in my heart.
Sometimes gifts come from unlikely sources. David usually met us at the door when we arrived for the retreat, but this year he watched us from his heavenly home. When I got home from the retreat I reflected on his life. Besides giving me a great time at the retreat he gave me tenacity. And I am grateful for David’s gift to me which was the reminder that God can do great things when we offer him what we have. He showed me what can happen when we push through our problems.
Be on the lookout for hidden gifts that God wants to give you this season. Please share then with me.