Meet Kelly Nowels and the Adventursaurus Collective.
Ironically, I’m introducing to you to the very one who introduced me to the Preemptive Love Coalition. Kelly and I both went to Cedarville University where, given the small nature of the campus, we eventually met. I remember him one day wearing a shirt that caught my eye. It read very simply: Buy Shoes. Save Lives.
I was intrigued. I asked him what it was about and it was then I first heard about the work of the organization I find myself working with today.
Kelly and two friends – Sammy Starr and Michael Beight – are preparing to bike through Europe to raise money to save the life of Mohammad Fwad. It’s a pretty big undertaking, so we were eager to name them our ADVOCATES OF THE WEEK. Here is my interview with Kelly:
PLC: Who is Kelly Nowels?
Kelly Nowels: I’m an ordinary man but I have an extraordinary maker.
PLC: What is the Adventuresaurus Collective?
Kelly Nowels: The Adventuresaurus Collective formed in the spring of 2009 when Sammy, Michael, and myself started brainstorming our next big adventure. We would ride our bikes down to the town bakery every week and eat doughnuts and muffins while we dreamed of the possibilities. We joined together because we couldn’t stand the thought of living an ordinary life. We wanted to squeeze all the energy out of youth and smear today on our faces until the stories run down to our feet and the setting sun is extinguished by the distant mountains.
The cool thing was, as soon as we decided we were going to ride bikes across Europe, that was it. There was no uncertainty about our commitment. Nobody said “well that sounds fun let me check my schedule.” It was more like, “Yes we’re going, done. I’ll build my schedule around this.”
This journey will be our first official project, but we’ve had plenty of adventures together before. Sammy and I have camped at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in a thunderstorm and driven across the country in a car with a broken window. For New Years eve the three of us ventured to the eastern-most point in Maine, shot fireworks over the ocean, slept in a collapsed tent under six inches of snow and woke up for the sunrise.
Michael Beight is [the] thoughtful and resourceful member of the group. I love his easygoing nature about things. Sleeping on park benches doesn’t faze him and I think I’ve never heard him complain about the circumstances, even when they might be pretty crummy. Mike worked 12 hour graveyard shifts at a factory last summer to save up for this trip. A picture of the Alps taped up at his work station was sometimes the only thing keeping him going. I can’t get enough of Mike’s enthusiasm.
Sammy Starr is our wonderful engineer friend. He’s the kind of guy who makes you mad because he’s good at everything he picks up. Sammy might come off as shy but don’t let the quietness fool you. His wit is razor sharp and his subtle humor has had the whole room laughing more than a few times. I love Sammy because he’s always up for a scenic detour. Take the long way round to see Devil’s Tower? [Y]es. Stop at an overlook to see an epic view of the Grand Tetons? Absolutely. Of the 43 states I’ve been to, I’ve been to 35 of them with Sammy.
PLC: Why choose the Preemptive Love Coalition?
Kelly Nowels: It’s an investment in the future. To me it’s like a man who plants a tree. An Oak tree takes 50 years to reach full size. The man who plants it won’t get to enjoy it, even his kids won’t be able to climb it, it will be too small. But his grandchildren will see the benefit. They’ll hang a swing from its branch and climb to the top. That Oak tree might live 500 years and generations of kids will enjoy its shade but the man who planted it never lived to see the fruition of his work.
With every kid the PLC saves, they’re planting little trees. Who knows how those trees are going to grow up or if any of us are even going to live to see their fulfillment? Each kid who lives grows up with a story of peace and love. It would be great to see those stories outlive us.
PLC: How did you first learn about the Preemptive Love Coalition?
Kelly Nowels: A couple years ago I found myself at Cody Fisher’s first gathering for PLC in California after he returned from Iraq. I was struck by the way PLC was showing love on a personal scale to these children and their families while spreading the message of peace on a global scale. Cody was fresh from his trip to Iraq and really fired up. I was inspired to see a recent graduate engage his world and dream big. I knew I wanted to be that fired up about something after college too.
I love the way PLC encourages people to think outside the box and get creative. It’s all about doing what you love and doing it for the kingdom [of God]. You want to ride bicycles across Europe? Sail around the world? Climb Everest? Good. Go do it to save a kid’s life.
PLC: How has your news to bike across Europe for the children of Iraq been received by friends, family, local news, etc?
Kelly Nowels: It’s been great for the most part. I love seeing people come out of the woodwork finding ways to get involved. It’s so encouraging. Our families are behind us, churches, and dear friends… with that, we can do anything.
The other thing is we get a lot of people saying “I wish I could do that” or “I’m so jealous.” And I always want to say “then do it!” Seriously, I don’t think there’s as much holding us back as we think there is. Trade a little of that comfort for experience, trade some of that security for a risk, trade that new TV for a plane ticket, and see what you end up with. I doubt it will be regret.
PLC: What would you say to Mohammad if he asked why you were helping him?
Kelly Nowels: “You are loved. There is so much bad in this world but your creator is good. He saved my life and I want him to save yours. You are living in the middle of a spectacular story. I want you to have a shot at living long enough to share that story with everybody you meet. Together we’ll create a story that will change hearts and minds and bring peace and love to a broken world.”
|Donate the amount of your choice by entering it in the field below. All donations will help send Mohammad (and any others in his group) to life-saving heart surgery.
We did not choose this picture to make you sad… it’s just the only picture we could capture of Mohammad during his recent trip to our office in Iraq and he wasn’t very happy that day. We hope to post more pictures soon!
June 3, 2008 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Check out the new video and share it with your friends as a way of advocating on behalf of Iraqi children in need! Thanks for your support!
Embed this video on your blog or website:
November 6, 2007 by Jeremy · Comments Off
Hedi, 8 months old
Thanks to an anonymous gift directly to our partner organization on behalf of Buy Shoes. Save Lives., Hedi will be able to have the operation he needs to fix the hole between the ventricles of his heart. Your advocacy among your friends is apparently working! Keep it up!
Hussein, 3 years old
Hussein is from one of the few Arab (non-Kurdish) families who made it safely to the October screening. Doctors singled him out as urgent, as he periodically runs out of breath and cries. Our partners at Brothers Together took him across the Jordan River Monday with Hedi (above), and thanks to an anonymous gift on behalf of Buy Shoes. Save Lives., his sponsorship was completed at three minutes to midnight the same day!