The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace. – Numbers 6:22-26
This morning I attended my second ALS fundraiser this year. Like many others, a couple of years ago I was roped in by the “Ice-bucket challenge.” It was a powerful initiative and it got my attention. I learned a lot and became a donor, too.
But this time it’s personal. My friend Randall has been diagnosed and that makes all the difference. My first fundraiser was on behalf of a young man – a photography professor – connected to a couple of our good friends. Earlier this year my cousin’s husband died from motor-neuron disease. Then our sister-in-law, Cheryl, has been living with MS for years, as has a great friend in our Brandon church. Finally, another dear friend has been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease….
All these diseases come under the umbrella of conditions that affect the nerve cells that send messages to the brain, and there is a progressive weakening of all the muscles in the body, eventually compromising even the ability to breathe.
This is why research is so important. Research into cause, into prevention, into treatment, and – we hope and pray – eventual eradication. Here is a link to Randall’s fundraising page. He is already top fundraiser as an individual (he may possibly have a couple of friends at church!) but every dollar counts and it is a fight worth having.
Our team – Randall’s Ralliers – was huge. You can see how many came in support of his struggle in this group photo.
You can expect me to share more about this as our journey with Randall continues. For now, enjoy these pictures from today’s walk (through beautiful downtown Raleigh), consider giving generously, and – please pray with me:
Loving and gracious God, we want to pray for our friend – your child – Randall. Bless him with courage, grace, and peace during this difficult journey, surround him with even more friends, and use him to tell your story even as he lives and shares his own. And we pray for healing, for Randall and his family, in every possible way. In the name of Jesus, the one who makes everything possible through the power of love – AMEN
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.