Back then we barely knew each other; I knew about her powerful story, but I didn’t know her. Out of the blue I sent her a Facebook message.
“Joanna, I work for an organization that puts on camps for middle school and high school students in the summer. Our theme this year is Word, based on John 1, talking about how Jesus is the Word, and the power of knowing the Bible…”
I went on to ask her if she would be willing to tell her story to me on camera to be shown to 3,000+ students around the country. Students that she doesn’t know. A camp she’s never heard of. A video director she’s met once or twice before. Clearly it was a big ask, since I barely tell vulnerable stories to my closest friends and family.
But she responded, “Ry! Totally. I’m in. Might as well use this for good!”
Joanna, in her 20’s, played violin in an incredible band called The Soil and the Sun. While she was riding her bike in her hometown she was hit by a car that injured her so badly she was in the hospital for weeks. That was only the beginning.
I remember when we showed the completed video for the first time to NTS Camp worship leader Eric Bledsoe, his first comment was, “I thought this was going to be the cliche’ story I’ve heard before, something traumatic happened, she was hit by a car, and then she found her faith again…but, man, I was not ready for the rest. Wow, thank you for sharing this story.” If you haven’t seen the video, please take a moment to watch it here. It was part of our Word Photo Story Series.
So why am I writing a blog about this now when Joanna’s video was made three years ago? NTS Camp is a community of believers across the country with purpose and action. We were inspired by this story three years ago. Tons of students commented about how this story changed their perceptions and ultimately changed their story. It’s time now for us to inspire Joanna and change her story.
Joanna has a brain tumor. It’s been slowly growing and changing since doctors found it, but they didn’t want to operate unless it was absolutely necessary. The nature of the tumor makes surgery both dangerous and difficult; surgery could alter her brain function forever. For the past four years Joanna has been living her life to the fullest with this tumor, but the symptoms have caught up to her. Here’s a recent status she posted:
I just found out that Joanna will be having surgery Monday, April 11. I asked her if I could write a blog about her current situation.
She inspired us, 3,000+ NTS strangers with her story. Now we, the 3000+ can inspire her, one person, with our prayer.
Starting now through Monday April 11, please pray for these things:
- That God would show Joanna overwhelming love, and a sense of calmness this weekend.
- Divine focus, expertise, and precision for the surgeons
- That Joanna will recover and stay herself in mind, body, and spirit.
We don’t know what is in store for Joanna, we don’t know what’s ahead, but we do know we can pray. We must.
Videographer & Co-Programmer
Never The Same
© 2016, Never The Same