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A Challenge Every Season

The Lego Church Project has been going on for twenty-five years. In this article I share a bit about the challenges I face when doing this for so long.

The Lego Church Project that I do every year is an epic undertaking. In the span of about two months, I take and assemble free hand a massive Catholic parish of my own design and creation. By massive I mean a project that measures about 47 inches long. 25 inches wide. With a height to the tip of the bell tower around 23 inches. I have inside a full interior full of lights, flooring, and over two-hundred mini-figures. This is all built by one person. With no extra help. 

It is a challenge to build this. Not only am I testing the limits of the medium, in this case, LEGO. Creating a building using several thousand inter-locking plastic bricks. I am also challenging myself to come up with a new and creative design each year. Something that I've been doing for well over twenty-two years so far. I am also running headfirst into every single fear and insecurity I have ever had. Learning what each year brings me and the strength that I gain from each completed season. Sometimes this can be a great internal struggle. Yet it is one that I look forward to. It is also a time of a lot of prayer for me. As I spend nearly the entire build process in prayer. Either with words or just with my hands as I'm working on each section. Everything I do with my work is connected to prayer in some form. Such as praying for every aspect of our lives. Disability and its related issues. Along with our parishes. 

The next challenge I face every season is being able to take my project on the road to locations for public displays. The displays allow people to see my work in person and see the creative side of what someone with a disability (or challenge) can do. What makes things difficult is being able to find the needed transportation to make these displays happen. As I do not drive, nor do I always have easy access to transportation. I am always thankful when God works things out. My project is built for everyone and is meant to be shared not hidden inside my apartment for no one to see. Without the kindness of others this would not even happen. 

One of the often-unasked questions is why I do this year after year. I have a mild form of cerebral palsy. The challenges I face are not easily seen or noticed unless you get to know me. I have struggles that impact me daily. Often in ways most do not realize. I also have a deep love for Christ and the Catholic faith. God has blessed me with this very unique talent. To allow me to build and display these massive creations of mine year after year. I use The Project to show that no matter what challenge or disability that you face. God can still use your talents in amazing and creative ways. That is more than just a mission statement as it is something that I am living in my interactions with others. I desire to give hope to those who face these challenges and to remind people that God does have a purpose for everyone. 

Within the last few years, I have been able to take the project father than I could ever hope or dream. Given the disability advocacy that is starting to develop thanks to the recent print interviews and various podcasts I've been on. I am slowly starting to use my work to open the doors to conversations that are needed. Reminding people that those with disabilities often face an uphill road when it comes to the life of the Church. More so if that disability isn't easily seen or noticed. That everyone should feel welcome, no matter what challenge they face, when they step inside our parishes. I am praying that this advocacy is something that I can do more of in the coming seasons. 

I close this out with a final though: I don't do this for myself. I do this out of a deep love and passion for Christ. This has always been about the work God is doing though me and my efforts. Without HIM. This would not even be happening. This above all else is God's project. I'm just the humble and unlikely builder.

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