Welcome! Enjoy the real experiences and insights into life!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Update on Billy Ray

So many cool stories continue to happen to Billy Ray.

He and Bill have been invited to England to hob nob with royalty.  Some order has granted honorary status to them and has invited them to come meet the dutchess.  (My apologies to our cousins across the big pond for not knowing the specifics.  I'm sure I've butchered the story in many ways.)

Last Sunday, Billy Ray was reunited with his brother and sisters on NBC's Today Show.  He was quite surprised!  Here's the link if you haven't seen it.  http://www.today.com/id/51240194/ns/today-good_news/t/reunited-family-homeless-man-who-returned-ring-says-hes-got-it-all/  While in NYC, Billy Ray enjoyed meeting some of Sarah's relatives, one of which was an astronaut.  From what I hear, they had quite the conversation!

Some of you have found the YouTube link of Billy Ray addressing my class in Kansas City a few weeks ago.   See it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5QCLaNgJ8o.
He tells a wonderful story of witnessing "pay it forward" came full circle in his presence.

Thank you for your continued interest in Billy Ray!  He sends his love to all of you!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Apparently Heroes Fail

My friend, Steve Peifer, is my hero.  He was also CNN's hero of the year in 2007  for feeding children in Kenya.  He and Nancy lost a child that was only a few days old, and their lives changed forever from a prosperous job with Oracle to getting lost in Africa.  There they found their souls again.

Officially, Steve serves as a high school guidance counselor at Rift Valley Academy.  Unofficially, he initiated a feeding program that once fed 23,000 children one meal a day...children who couldn't stand up by Thursday because they hadn't eaten since Monday.  He also introduced computers to schools that don't have electricity.  His computer centers are powered by the sun.  One child heard about her opportunity to learn about computers, and she said, "I never had a dream so big."

I had coffee with Steve in 2011 after a few years of downturn in the world economy.  Donations from the USA had fallen to the point that Steve was able only to feed 13,000 children in Kenya the previous year.  What do you say to a hero who has tears in his eyes and tells you, "I feel like such a failure."  If he's a failure, then what am I?

Steve's book comes out tomorrow/today.  Be forwarned.  Steve is a nut!  Here is an excerpt from an email I got today. 
We had pizza the other night, and I got to slice one of them. I was rather rudely mocked by my children because my slices weren't equal in size. On another day, we were invited to a friend's home for pizza. Jim was a commander of a nuclear sub; now he is helping to expand the mission hospital. As I looked at his unequal pieces, it occurred to me that I could have been a commander of a nuclear sub.

Want another grab-your-heart story?  Check out his book.  Steve promised his African-adopted daughter that she could have a pony if the book became a #1 Best Seller.  I'd like to bet on that horse!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Apparently Billy Ray is a Public Speaker

My travels took me back to Kansas City this week.  No longer is this a city in which I have no friends.  Billy Ray and I spent the whole time together, including a seminar I taught on Monday. 

He believes that these events have happened to him so that he can communicate a message of hope, love, and service to others.  We discussed the possibility of some speaking engagements in the future, and I had the privilege of witnessing his first opportunity.  My class gave up their lunch time to hear Billy Ray speak.  He communicated humbly and eloquently. 

Tonight Billy Ray called to tell about an interview he did with a radio station in Minnesota.  Afterwards, they invited him to come there to speak to teenagers.  He accepted on the condition that they wait for warmer weather!  Plans are in the works for a summer visit!

What does the future hold?  No one knows for sure.  However, if you'd like for Billy Ray to come speak at one of your events, feel free to contact him through this venue.

Thank you for your beautiful comments about my first encounter with Billy Ray. I will respond individually in the next few days. You have touched my heart!  Thank you Bill Krejci for setting up giveforward.com/billyray.  And thank you, Billy Ray, for being the angel we have had the privilege of entertaining unaware!