November 6, 2013
Now. Before you automatically assume that you don’t want to read any further because you think you’ll get depressed, let me just assure you that what you will experience is the very opposite of depression. Cody is inspiration personified and you can’t hear his story without being encouraged and amazed.
When Cody became aware of Dare Challenge, he personally sought out the director, Dustin Daniels (pictured above) to see if Dustin could help his dad get free from heroin. Ever since that conversation, Dustin has been doing everything possible to get Cody’s dad released from incarceration in Virginia and admitted to the program.
But while Cody continues to wait for that to happen, he isn’t just sitting around twirling his thumbs. In fact, he got himself busy and started going door to door after school, collecting food to be donated to the Dare Challenge residents.
Here he is helping to unload the food.
And this is how much he collected–all by himself! What an inspiration to see him doing all he can to help the guys of Dare Challenge even though his dad isn’t even a resident yet.
Then do yourself a favor and listen to the three-minute video below of Cody telling his story. When Cody finished speaking (to a standing ovation), I suddenly realized that I didn’t just have tears in my eyes, I also had tears streaming down my cheeks. You can not listen to this amazing young man speak without being moved.
(This video was recorded last Saturday at a Dare Challenge fundraiser that our family, along with 400 other people, attended. If you prefer to read Cody’s speech instead, you will find it at the end of the post.)
Our church supports it financially on a monthly basis, Steve teaches a class there every Thursday morning and he has also just been invited to sit on the center’s Board of Directors. And you may also recall that we have hosted Dare Challenge’s residents at our home for Thanksgiving dinner for the past two years. This year, we will doing it again.
These are the current residents (singing at the fundraiser Saturday night) which means that they are also the guys who on Thanksgiving Day, will become honorary Smiths. They will sit around our big, family table and tell their stories of great pain, great failures and great redemption. Our family is honored to have a small part in their story and we are looking forward to the day when Cody’s dad joins their ranks.
At the end of the banquet Saturday night, some of the guys hoisted Cody to their shoulders, applauded him and let him know that he is an important part of their family. Such a joy to see.
And here’s a little extra inspiring side note before I close. Do you see the guy in the front wearing the orange t-shirt? (He’s also in the first picture with Cody.)
That’s Dustin Daniels. He took an overdose several years ago and when he was rushed to hospital, the doctors told his family that he had 27 different chemicals in his body. His family was also told that Dustin would probably never come out of his coma and if he somehow did survive, he would be severely brain damaged.
Well. Dustin survived. In fact, he did much more than survive.
Dustin is now the director of Dare Challenge and works hard day and night to help other men break out of the cycle of addiction.
And he is working especially hard to keep the promise that he made to this brokenhearted, brave, inspiring young boy. “Yes, I will do everything I can to help your dad.”
If you would like to financially help this organization whose cure rate is 80% (as opposed to the 12% average)
click here for information. You will find very few places any better for investing your dollars and your heart.
Here is the transcript of Cody’s speech:
“The children ran to Jesus but the men said STOP! But Jesus said “Let them come each and everyone.” (A quote from the Bible.)
My name is Cody Lynch and I am 11 years old. My mother and father are both heroin addicts.
For a long time I did not know why I lived with my Nana and Popo. But when I was 10, things was so bad that I thought my Mom might be dead because I had not heard from her in so long. My Nana sat me down and told me the truth.
It’s very hard to think that your parents want drugs more than they want you. And it hurts a lot when they forget your birthday, Christmas and other holidays. . Addict parents make a lot of promises and forget about them. Sometimes I do not hear from them for weeks.
My Nana says they are going through a bad time but I know it means they are doing drugs. I want to say to everyone, DRUGS HURT. It not only kills your body but it hurts the ones that love you. My dad and mom do not come to my school, they do not know how hard I work to make good grades. Drugs make people very selfish.
I was mad at God for awhile. I did not understand why both my parents had to do drugs. I had never done anything wrong so why did I have to live like this? Sometimes I figured out my life was a lot less stressful when I did not worry about my parents on drugs. But it did not make it go away.
So instead of being mad at God I ran back to him. I love to talk to God and I feel safe and loved. Sometimes I just talk to him about my day and sometimes I have really important stuff to say. I think we are all God’s children and when you are scared or need help run to him. He loves us each and every one.
I want to say to the Dare Challenge Men, I think you guys are so awesome. Don’t give up or ever go back and let a drug control you. Instead of walking the streets looking for drugs, drop to your knees and call to God. He will save you and keep you safe. You gave me faith that my Dad may really someday be a Dad to me.
And keep praying with people. It is a good feeling when someone cares enough about you to pray with you. When Pastor Dustin said he would help my Dad, I knew he meant it. And I knew these things were because God heard my prayers. It’s been hard getting my Dad to Dare. But I know it will happen, I just do not know when. But God does and I am ok with that.
I will never do drugs. I never want to hurt my family . I am not sure what I will be when I grow up but I know I always want to tell people about God. I want to always help Dare Challenge because they help change life’s.
Miss Amy says the guys at the Dare Challenge really liked me. But I think God sent them as angels to help me know there is good and he is working everyday to make the drugs go away.
My name is Cody Lynch and I want to thank you for listening to me. I hope God blesses each and ever one of you. Have a nice day!
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie are all on the list of things I love.