“Where is he?” David muttered, pacing and jittery. “He’s two hours overdue.”

Our visionary friend was traversing conflict zones, but he’d never been this late. Then the phone rang. David lunged for it. His face projected relief, then concern.

“We had a minor car accident. We’re OK at a hospital, but I’ll be a while.”

Over half the day was gone before he arrived to tell the tale.

Entering the city via a congested morning freeway, he’d spotted an elderly woman on foot, tottering through the traffic. He slowed to a crawl. She tried to step up onto the median. But then she lost her balance – and fell back onto his car.
Man crossing street in traffic
He immediately stopped, and got out to help her. She apologized profusely, and assured him she was fine. Just a bit sore.

He insisted to rush her to hospital, at his expense. She protested. He prevailed. Her X-rays revealed no injury; the doctor just ordered bed rest.

Her family arrived soon. Our friend investigated if she needed anything else. They mentioned a hospital bed. Without hesitation, he tapped his network, got a bed donated, and paid for its delivery to her home.

Her family was stunned to silence by this stranger from out of town.

But then the police showed up, filed accident charges, and impounded his car. He knew better than to protest. They demanded case fees to release his car. Without a word, he paid up. As the adage goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

By now, he was out of pocket three months’ wages.

His reflex to serve a total stranger in need amazed us. He explained, “All people are created by God. We’re responsible to care for each other. No matter what. I’d do the same for anyone.”

Yet even more astonishing to us was his quiet calm while suffering injury for doing good. I asked him, “Would you stop again, now that you know the outcome?”

He looked me in the eye, quizzically, “Of course. Wouldn’t you?”

Our auditor of this visionary’s accounts later confided in me, “His accounts are always clean; I check every receipt. But audits only enforce compliance; values reveal true character. Now, after his behavior today, I know I can trust this guy.”
How have his values made all the difference?

For over two decades, our visionary friend has doggedly pursued his mission.
Older woman's folded hands.

He’s had his car riddled by bullets. He’s lost volunteers to death and emigration. He’s had family members injured and abducted. Yet he continues to nurture a network of over 2,000 volunteers, with over half displaced from conflict zones.

These volunteers trust him. Because when push comes to shove, they know in crisis he will do what is right. Not because someone is watching. Not because he’ll win an award. Not because he’ll get his name in headlines.

Just because it’s right. Period.

The outcome of living his values is that his dream is coming true in a conflicted society lurching toward anarchy. He has a dream: “cradle to grave dignity with and for every mentally challenged person nationwide.”

As usual, David and I are challenged and inspired by this dreamer, and others like him shining like stars through darkness. We recommit to practice the Dreams InDeed values of faith, integrity, wisdom, passion, and humility.
And we’re pushing on to strengthen these men and women of strong character for “a light in every hard place in our generation.”

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We’ve got some great news to share from the Haskells!  

 However, before we jump into that, allow us to introduce ourselves as the chairs of the US and Swiss boards of directors for Dreams InDeed. 

I am
Rick Williamson, US board chair.  As a clinical psychologist, I specialize in trauma recovery and strengthening individuals and communities against stress impact. I prepare humanitarians and responders worldwide to serve effectively in harm’s way.  Over my fifteen years in this field, I’ve recognized the essential role of those special persons in every community who embrace and build up their most affected neighbors. 

I serve with Dreams InDeed not only because we engage in the world’s hard places, but we also aim to strengthen the “insider” for the truly transformative impact that the world so desperately needs. I am honored to serve along with each of you in support of the Dreams InDeed mission.

And, I am
Joe Campbell, Swiss board chair.  As a mediator in civil and political disputes, I contributed to peaceful resolution of the troubles in my home country of Northern Ireland, leading to the Good Friday Agreement.  I also mediated in Nepal alongside politicians, community activists, and church leaders in the search for a just and lasting peace. In both, I supported Dreamers and have often been a Dreamer myself. 

 

I know what it means to be affirmed and encouraged by outsiders who make it their business to be informed enablers.  That sensitive participation fosters hope amidst despair.  It is my honour to join in the crucial work of Dreams InDeed.  Together with you, I will do all I can to nurture sparks of hope into lights of joy.

Now, here is the news we just received from David and Janice in the Middle East:

 

Dear Rick and Joe, 

 

Thank you for your faithful and effective servant leadership as our US and Swiss board chairs.  We were challenged by the wisdom and faith of both boards setting such ambitious goals this year.  As our fiscal year gets underway now in July, we’re excited that strategic doors of opportunity are swinging open on every aim we agreed together!  

 

Goal: equip exemplary dreamer cases in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.  Progress: despite escalating violence, dreamers are persevering with six initiatives among the hardest countries of the worldwide Fragile States Index.  This year, we’ll sustain both Dreams InDeed’s unprecedented regional registration and our continuing Jordan residency to strengthen these dreamers, guided by Janice.

 

Goal: research parable communications to engage closed minds via both word and deed.  Progress: The University of Oxford has approved David for doctoral field research on The Pedagogy of Parable.  To develop this Dreams InDeed training curriculum, David will shuttle between research in Oxford and case work on the ground in the Middle East.

 

Goal: research publishable Middle East cases on the transformation of pluralist conflict.  Progress: an exemplary Lebanese visionary has volunteered his civil society, public service, and business networks for rigorous field research.  Plus two Oxford professors, experts in values education and intercultural dialogue, will supervise the fieldwork.  

 

Goal: engage next-generation prospects to serve dreamers in hard places worldwide.  Progress: Kellogg College, with Oxford’s greatest number and diversity of international graduate students, has granted David membership.  Adjacent to Kellogg, Dreams InDeed has secured an operating base in Oxford for us to host and befriend global candidates.

 

Goal: expand our thought leader networks for aligned advisors and European board members.  Progress: upon review of David’s Pedagogy of Parable research proposal, six professors immediately volunteered their expertise in international development, political science, public policy, economics, leadership science, and character cultivation.

 

 

On behalf of the boards of directors of Dreams InDeed, we thank you again for journeying with us on our mission to strengthen dreamers in hard places so the poor thrive as God intended. We look forward to your continuing participation as we accelerate toward our shared vision: “a light in every hard place in our generation.”