Yesterday was rough, but I made it through night number three… I made 50+ hours on top of the bus… I am living on to of a bus in a very confined space in a tent away from my family, and normal comforts of life.
No TV, regular bathroom, walking area, refrigerator where I can creep around the house to get my favorite snacks, no recliner of comfortable sofa… You’re starting to get the picture.
In fact, someone asked me “what has been the hardest thing you have had to deal with while going through this journey?” My answer is simple… Being alone, and not having all that I think I
But, I am also learning some very important truths. One being that you don’t need a lot to find joy, peace, and happiness. All you need is God’s strength, and valuable relationships around you.
Over the last two and a half days, over 20 people have called, stopped by, and reached out to me to let me know that I was not alone and they were praying for me. That brings me joy! One of the top people has been my wife. She has brought my kids by, and have sent me words to uplift me during this time. In essence, it has been the relationships I have around me that have given me the strength to continue. This reminds me of one of my favorite passages in the scriptures written by Solomon about friendship. It reads (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV),
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
I know some people may still wonder to themselves
“this still doesn’t make any sense at all.” However, I am still standing on my convictions that it does.
If we are able to raise the funds for the Mobile Makeover Bus, we would be able to makeover homeless individuals, provide support for families in need, and launch a program that teaches people skills next year in 2015. I’m asking you that you get on the bus with me, and help me take a stand for people who are in need of hope, diginity, and support.
If it was not for my support, I’d give up this journey. So I can only imagine what people feel who have none at all, or feel like they have no sense of self worth. We care for those people… Help us support them so they too can take a stand in life and feel valued. Below is a clip from yesterday highlighting why I am doing this… If you would like to help us raise the 50K it’s going to take to convert the bus…click [HERE] Terence
Yesterday was unreal.
Around 10pm a small group of us arrived back at the office where the bus is parked… I talked to my wife and kids, we prayed, and I climbed up to start living on top of the bus for the next thirty nights straight. My friend Dave built a pretty secure platform on top of the bus for my safety. It includes a porta potty, a small heater, and a little power so I can blog about my experiences.
However, I know people are probably wondering
“what in the world does living on top of a bus prove. Better yet, why in the world would you do it in the middle of winter. It makes no sense.”
Well, to me this means everything. This past year, our organization encountered thousand of people through service. We served tons of apartment complexes, and served a couple thousand homeless individuals in the heart of the city, and I noticed something very unique among all those we served. People have lost hope, a sense of self-worth, and even dignity. It is hard looking into the eyes of people and knowing that the only self-worth they have is their existence (meaning they feel they only feel worth because they are alive). In fact, I can remember encountering a lady in the apartment complex where we serve that said, “I feel like I am forgotten about… and I’m all alone…” This same lady said that she hadn’t eaten in a week because she was a senior citizen and had few resources.
No matter how you slice it, communities and people who live in poverty deserve to have a sense of self-worth, dignity, and even receive help that could possibly help them rebuild the pieces to their lives. We’ve seen recently in the news a underlining call for all people to start working in communities to restore the broken pieces that leave stains, and scars that never go away.
One of the ways #lovebeyondwalls would like to start helping the community is by reaching out to communities and homeless individuals by providing makeovers with our bus. These makeovers would be more than physical touchups, they would be like a launchpad for people to taking steps toward permanent change.
This doesn’t answer why sleep on a bus…. does it…
Well, I am staying on this bus because we are serious about transforming the bus, and sharing compassion with many people who have no hope! We desire to go mobile to serve people in the city of Atlanta. It’s just that simple. I believe in what we are taking a stand for… And I believe that we will be able to band together with other organizations to help people.
I don’t claim to be the best leader, but I have learned what my favorite leadership style is… It isn’t the most popular leadership style, but it is one that most aligns with how God has made me.
In fact, when you look at the New Testament, you’ll see that Jesus used the same model of leadership. What is it? That’s simple. It is “servant leadership.” It’s leading by serving others. Let me warn you though
it’s not popular in a culture that tells you to place yourself first ALL the time.
In fact, if you were to do a google search right now on leadership styles all types of styles would come up that are often used by those leading organizations of all sorts. However, one leadership style you’d be hard pressed to find is servant leadership.
Why? Because servant leadership “is an age-old concept, a term loosely used to suggest that a leader’s primary role is to serve others (Haskett, Forbes)”
This past year, I have led with this style because it places people as the main priority. It’s grassroots, time consuming, and has high involvement, but is totally worth it when you see people touched and impacted…. In fact, it doesn’t always come out perfect, is messy, and has high risks, but the end goal is always to serve others. That’s what I believe God is most pleased with.
This morning, I felt the need to mention servant leadership because this is what we are aiming to display by getting our mobile makeover unit off the ground. Of course our approach is a little untraditional sometimes, but we are aiming to serve others in such a way that #lovebeyondwalls can play a major role in seeing people’s lives transformed.
No agenda, no motives, no gimmicks, just servant leadership.
Some have asked why live on top of a bus for 30 nights straight (and even called me crazy for attempting this)… But it is simple… To help us serve more people as we aim to get our mobile unit off the ground. I care about people, and have a deep desire to see people receive love, hope, and life transformation.
I ask that you keep me/us in your prayers as we embark on our next servant leadership journey. Additionally, think about supporting our cause by “Getting on the bus…” and clicking the image below.
This past weekend, #lovebeyondwalls trained 20+ leaders from various organizations, churches, and businesses! Each of these leaders sat in our idea room, and learned creative ways to engage the community, build a team, and leverage technology to mobilize people to serve others! Below is a picture of some of the attendees! It was truly an amazing time. Not only will we have this again before the year ends, we will launch a #leadersource podcast to train other leaders who would love to learn from our experiences and research.
This coming Saturday (20th), a small group of fifteen leaders will visit our headquarters (in College Park), sit around tables in our idea room, and learn leadership, technology/communication, storytelling, and outreach lessons we’ve learned over the last 8 and a half months we’ve been around.
We are calling it leadersource 1.0 because we believe leaders should have small gatherings that teaches, trains, and resources them with vital information to do effective work in the 21st Century. Our passion is to create idea-based environments where leaders can study and have hands-on training… This type of environment is the best way for leaders to learn, and discover ideas that will help them in what God has called them to.
If we are honest, many leaders wrestle with (in the 21st Century):
- Not knowing their purpose.
- Not seeing themselves as having anything to contribute to this life.
- Thinking very little of themselves and not having access to the “secret sauce.”
- Not knowing how they are wired and where they win.
So…….Whether it be non-profit work, church work, or a start-up small business there are unique things can be gathered from open dialogue.
Next week, we will take a lot of principles we have learned (through experience) and pass them along to other leaders (about 5-7). We want to teach leaders some of lessons we’ve learned about social media, storytelling, and launching campaigns.
How will this help? I’m glad you asked. It will help other leaders start the process of thinking through ways to make an impact in the areas they feel called to. Everyone needs a little guidance and help!
Also, I’m excited about giving the talk! If you’d like to attend, click the image below. I think we only have 3 more seats available.