The defiance of impossibility
Yesterday I found myself at an unusual gathering in South West London. Seated around the table were representatives who had flown in from Ghana, Uganda, Monaco, Bulgaria, Colombia, Nepal, the Czech Republic, America, New Zealand and others too. Between them, they represent an organisation which has channelled some $5 million in aid to developing nations and enhanced the lives of thousands of children in the past year alone. Despite all that, my job was to inspire them!
Together we looked at the story of Nehemiah visiting the ruined city of Jerusalem by night. With God in his heart and hard work on his mind, he galvanized a rag-tag group of people into rebuilding a city in just 52 days. The impossible was defied at every turn as perfume-makers, noblemen, goldsmiths, and every man and women capable of lifting a pick bent their backs to the task. In defiance of every odd stacked against them, the city walls rose up and their doubters were silenced. Based on this story, my plea to the international gathering before me was not to accept that the possible lay at the brow of the nearest hill, but to climb the hill and see how much better it might look in the valley beyond. ‘What can’t you do?’, I asked them. I then wheeled out my little starry friend by way of an illustration.
As it always does, the story of Littlest Star’s journey from concept to publication in 22 days captured people’s hearts. Copies were bought to go to several different countries,with at least one destined to find its way into a children’s ministry programme. An hour or so after returning from that conference, I had a phone call from someone offering to translate the story into German. Two hours later, the completed translation was returned to me.
Now I am left thinking – what next?
- If Littlest Star raised £1800 for the Shooting Star Chase children’s hospices in one month, what could it raise this year in three?
- Given the simplicity of the story, what scope is there for distributing it in many languages?
- Can a UK publisher be found whose logistical support would allow the book to be sold nationally in shops?
In January of this year, I had a wonderful moment when the man behind the counter in our local phone shop recognised my name and connected it with the story. “Every time I want to read Toy Story to my son, he wants Littlest Star instead”, he confessed. Littlest Star .v. Pixar is quite a thought! Then again, as I asked my international companions yesterday ‘what can’t you do’?
Time is on our side this year in a way that it wasn’t before, and this has been a collaborative venture from the outset. Your suggestions welcome…