As a kid I remember watching the Apollo missions takeoff from Cape Canaveral. My favorite part was that final countdown. I have vivid memories, I’m sure aided by television replays over the years, of the smoke (I’m sure there is a more scientific term) as it would begin to bellow. Then as the countdown got really close those arm like doohickeys (another very accurate technical term) would drop off the rocket ship and then everything would begin to shake. Watching from Washington state, we were about as far away as you could be and still be in America, and yet it seemed like you could feel the power of those rockets as they prepared to lift off. I know the ground beneath me was shaking. I’m sure that infatuation with rockets isn’t uncommon among young people and I’m absolutely positive I’ve carried it into adulthood. How else do you explain my love for Star Wars, Star Trek, and take offs whenever I fly?
Obviously the countdown we are on this time is much different. But there are some similarities. I can’t remember how long before the actual takeoff the TV cameras began rolling, all I know is it was a lot longer than when I would actually stop and pay attention. I would typically wait until those final moments to really start watching. Regardless of when those cameras began to film, the countdown started long before. Days and weeks and months earlier the planning began for that launch. In the same way, we are going to celebrate something tomorrow that has been in the works for 117 days!!! Like some of those Apollo launches, we’ve had some hiccups, some scary moments, and we’ve had some glorious ones as well. And like those Apollo missions, the list of contributors to a successful launch are numerous… too numerous for them to all be mentioned.
In the same way, there have been too many people that have been a part of #TeamJustus to even consider trying to list them all. In the beginning our onsite team worked diligently to try and capture all of the highlights of the journey. Different people were assigned different areas of the voyage and given the charge to copy and categorize all of the God sightings as they occurred. We wanted so badly to be able to honor God and honor the many of you who were supporting Justus. One person captured and saved all the sunrises as you began sending them in. Another kept all the incredible pictures of moon shots you posted. Others were combing through your posts and chronicling the stories of how Justus’ story had impacted their own faith journey. We even tried to save the many prayers, prayer requests, and answered prayers along the way. We were excited and it seemed like such a noble cause and worthy idea. What a record we would have to one day show Justus, not to mention others… but then something happened.
#TeamJustus never slowed down. Pictures upon pictures have continued to roll in. Story after story of how some little four-year old boy had touched someone’s life has been shared. And my mini-novels continued to pile up, until today we have so much gathered, to say it’s overwhelming would be like saying Yoda sure is profound. I don’t know if we will ever be able to make heads of the mountains of data we’ve collected. But all of us, everyone in our #TeamJustus family, know what’s contained in those pages and pages of documents. Love… Love of God… Love of family… Love of strangers… Love of people we don’t necessarily agree with on everything… Love of all that is good and right and well in the world. Sorry if that is starting to feel cheesy, I can’t help myself. When I think of all that has happened these last 116 days and counting… I mean cue up Air Supply because that’s how I feel. Oh boy… I just dated myself again!
So if tomorrow you begin to feel the ground shake just a little… if you hear steam escaping out of… ok, I’m not sure where the steam is escaping from, but you get the point… a countdown is ending and a launch is eminent. More importantly, if we were to list all of the people responsible for this successful launch, your name would be on that list. Thank-you for your faithfulness to Justus. Thank-you for your faithfulness to God. Thank-you for your faithfulness to this journey.
As the family prepares to leave, please pray for Alyse and Jason’s hearts, as well as the rest of us. As you can imagine a lot of emotion is attached to all that has transpired. Much of that emotion will be focused tomorrow and will be hard… good… but hard. And of course pray for a smooth transition. The next update will be of homecoming. Boy, I never doubted I would eventually get to say that, but WOW! Homecoming tomorrow! Until then… #TeamJustus, we love you.
And once again join me… 10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…