Hey, y’all, and happy Tuesday! My sincerest apologies for the delay in this week’s blog post. I originally planned on going a completely different route and already had almost half of it written when Friday rolled around last week. The events of that day led me to scratch my draft and start anew. I have also had the craziest last few days and wanted some extra time to write this post because it is one of the most meaningful ones I’ve written. Buckle up and strap in—it’s a long one—but I promise it’s one you don’t want to miss. 

We arrived in Wyoming County, WV, late Thursday night and headed straight to bed. We knew we would only have the workday Friday to spend in the county gathering stories and content. Because of this, we decided to focus our attention on building a connection with a homeowner we had heard so many phenomenal things about.  

As we pulled into their yard Friday morning, we saw the two homeowners, husband and wife, sitting on the porch and chatting with the volunteers as they worked on a ramp. There were two volunteer crews there—one working on the homeowners’ house and one working on their daughter’s house, which was on the same plot of land. After snapping some photos of the volunteers, we walked over to introduce ourselves. We quickly got pulled into a conversation with one of the homeowners, Mrs. Tessie, that lasted all morning. We talked about so many things—our backgrounds, families, faith, and, of course, ASP. 

Once lunchtime rolled around, we headed to a gas station and gave them the space to spend their final lunch break of the week with their group of volunteers. We made plans to come back right after the break for an interview with Mrs. Tessie, wanting to document her family’s story and the impact of the ASP repairs done on her home. 

After lunch, we set up our camera equipment to ensure she was comfortable before our interview. We asked about the projects the ASP volunteers had been working on, and she told us how the two most helpful and meaningful projects for her family were the two ramps —one that was being worked on for her home and one for her daughter’s home that had been finished the first week. In order for you to understand the immensity of the impact, I need to provide a little context. Her eldest grandson was diagnosed at the age of 8 with a genetic disease that attacks all of the muscles in his body, including his heart, which has limited his mobility. According to Mrs. Tessie, it is a terminal illness that a cure has yet to be found for. Her grandson has been in and out of the hospital and has been wheelchair bound for the last few years. Last year, they were able to get him an electric wheelchair; however, he hadn’t been able to use it yet, as they had no way of transporting it in and out of his house. After the first week ASP volunteers finished the ramp on his home, he was finally able to use it for the first time after having it almost a year and a half. Tessie recalled this memory very fondly, saying she would’ve given all she had if it meant she could’ve seen the smile on his face that day sooner. “You could’ve given him a million dollars, and it wouldn’t have made him any happier than he was that day,” she said before describing how he spent his first time test-driving his new wheels. She recalled him riding up and down the road like he was on a four-wheeler, which he hadn’t been able to do in years because of his condition.  

We spent much of our time learning about Loghan, but we also heard about other stories and hardships the family was facing. The further we dove into her stories, the harder it became not to cry. We went from teary eyed to streams rolling down our faces within minutes because of the depth of her love for her family and from hearing the sheer magnitude of the impact ASP’s repairs has already made in her family member’s lives in such a short amount of time.  

Because of his condition, her grandson, who is 16, would have to crawl up her porch stairs to visit her, but thanks to the ramp ASP has built, he can drive up to her porch easily. According to Tessie, he takes FULL advantage of this!  ASP’s work on their homes has enabled them to spend as much time together as possible, and Tessie cherishes every moment she gets to spend making memories with him. 

After spending only 8 or so hours with Mrs. Tessie and her husband, it truly felt like I had known them for so much longer. It was inspiring to see how strongly they clung to their faith and honored God, even in the midst of so many difficult challenges and discouraging health diagnoses in their family.  

Life has brought so many painful trials and seemingly impossible obstacles their way, but none of it has shaken their faith. I aspire to be as faithful as they are in trusting God and believing for miracles, knowing that He is more than able.  

 Among the hours of conversation we spent around their dining room table, Tessie and her husband relished to us that they desired as much prayer for their grandson, Loghan, as possible – wanting him on every prayer list and in as many people’s prayers as they knew. They said this because they know 2 important things. 1. Prayer is powerful. and 2. Nothing is impossible for God (even curing a terminal condition).  

Instead of challenging or encouraging you today, I want to ask something of you. Matthew 21:22 says, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Please take a moment today, and tomorrow and any other day you can, to say a prayer for Mrs. Tessie and her family, especially her grandson, Loghan. 

Prayer moves mountains. I’ve seen it happen before, and I believe it will happen again in their lives. I have been praying for Mrs. Tessie and her family since we met them on Friday, and I know it would mean the world to them if you did the same. 

Prayer changes hearts. Prayer changes circumstances. Prayer changes lives. THAT is the power of prayer. 

Talk soon!


Sarah Brassfield

Story Gathering Intern