Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I just want to first off say thank you all for sticking with us for the long haul. We have one month left before we hit the open road and we are so excited about changing the way people view taking action and mental health. We started the Alive Campaign on November 4th and since then have reached hundreds of thousands of people. But many of you don't see behind the scenes of our grassroots operation. There is soooo much work that goes into this campaign many of your eyes might spin. We like to call this "lightning speed" organization creation. Most organizations take at least a year to start up, get a foundation, and build from there. Not the Alive Campaign. We have been on full throttle for 4 months straight and it does take its toll. Sadly, one of our friends Steve Zimmerman, decided to take a hiatus from the organization. He was a great asset through answering emails and preparing our beautiful website and we are forever grateful. He is still considered one of our close friends, and we know he has already made a great impact on people's lives, we wish him the best. But now we are moving forward and ready to take on the road's challenges. On April 4th we have a benefit concert on behalf of Student Counseling Services and Student Government where all proceeds will benefit the Alive Campaign. We hope this would be a great opportunity to share our message and raise some much needed funds. I've been working on the website non-stop and I hope you guys enjoy the new additions. Keep updated on our blog for more info as well as add this blog to your facebook profile. Click on edit apps and search "Alive Campaign Blog" to add it. We hope to keep you updated on the road and challenge people with taking action and making a difference. Peace out from Baylor University down in Waco, TX. Stay tuned- Justin Brown
As the Alive Campaign, we knew we didn’t want this to be a religious organization by any means, because of how many people our there are struggling with their faith and have denounced God in all aspects. As I sit here thinking about how far we have come as an organization. From a tiny Facebook group to now a non-profit organization I can’t help but see an invisible hand working through all of this. I don’t think anyone is 100% sure of the existence of a God, or the universe, or something but I just can’t help but feel that something is working. I have been thinking all week, in between school, tests, and homework that the Alive Campaign, when put in perspective feels a lot like wandering through the desert like in the Bible with the story of Moses and the Jews. Many of you might not be familiar with the story so let me walk you through it. So there’s this guy, named Moses, and absolute horrible public speaker told by God to speak in front of the Pharaoh (nice one God) and asks him to let all of Egypt’s slave labor free. Moses looks at God and says “Why me?” but God convinces him to go and eventually after plagues and plagues God sets free the Jewish people from Egypt. The Jewish people are promised a Promise Land but they have to walk through the great desert first. It seems to me this is how the Alive Campaign came to be. We are a bunch of normal everyday college students doing our best to help a friend in need. Then we are cast into a gigantic desert as we come to challenge after challenge and every time we come a challenge in the way, whether it be money, non-profit status, website malfunctioning an invisible hand comes and helps us through. And like the Jewish people every time we overcome a new obstacle that’s bigger then the first we often wonder why we didn’t stay in Egypt in the first place where things were comfortable and we weren’t dependent on God, the universe, or something. And like the Jews coming out of Egypt God, the universe, or something is always there to provide. I often wonder how many times I have heard this story but always wondered why the Jews were such whiners but now I know, its hard going day by day being so dependent on God, the universe, or something, coming through for you that you don’t know how you can make it another day. But God, the universe, or something always has a way of providing. I feel that before I left Egypt I was comfortable with my life, I knew where my life was going, but now God, the universe, or something has screwed that all up. I can now say confidently that before Egypt I didn’t know what dependency was, it was only until I dropped all my belongings all my baggage and leapt forward do I truly know what life is about. I know there is a Promise Land our there, whether it looks like Alaska I do not know, but I am wandering through the desert putting all my hope in an idea, but I do know one thing, life is about being completely dependent on other people, and God, the universe, or something.
Well we did our first 50 mile training session today! Its really amazing what you can do when you put your mind to something. We had news crews out reporting on us before we took off. It was really cool sharing our message. The coolest part so far was Jeremiah (an active member of the boards) joining us and dedicating the ride to the friends he made on Facebook. This was the first time we really met one of the active members and he was awesome company. I felt humbledby his dedication to those out there struggling with the burdens of life. We can't fight this fight alone, it was good seeing someone with the same love for people. Once we started on the ride I felt free...there is just something about getting on the bike knowing that its just you and the road. We had to take a detour along the route which led us to some hilly terrain. I would have to say it was a struggle getting up those steep hills and pushing yourself mentally and physically. As we pushed through each new hill we would laugh at how steep the newest mountain was, thinking to ourselves "how are we going to make it up this one." But each time we made it up. I can sincerely say that riding with friends made the ride so much easier. Of course I could probably have pushed myself up the next hill but without people with me pushing themselves up the same obstacles I think there would have definitely been times of discouragement. You know life is tough, pulling yourself up those mountains that seem only to get steeper. You ask yourself, "how am I going to make it up this one" but I think its best when you can laugh with people and watch the new hill that's approaching and say "BRING IT ON!" Having people encourage and help you up those mountains make life so much easier. After the ride today we stopped at an Italian ride to gorge ourselves with food. Man was I hungry!! As I scarfed down the food I have to say that this was one of the best meals I ever had.Little things like the Rolls were amazing! As I enjoyed the hearty meal I realized something. How many times have I eaten the same food and not felt anything new. But starving only increased the enjoyment. How many times do we take for granted the things we have, only to find out that once you are without you realize the little things you missed. Thats all for now, time for a nice shower, and a nice pint of Rocky Road Icecream, Yum! Live, Hope, Love!