A Cover Story
by Kathi Macias
firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, please pass this information along to anyone you can–via your own blogs, social networks, email loops, whatever way possible to help get the word out. Let’s make this go viral and bring this family back together!
Story from photographer/designer:
We (designer and photographer Michel Lê and spouse Christine) were Christmas vacationing in Asheville, NC.
I had Kathi’s book cover to design and needed photos of homeless people. Christine remembered seeing homeless people under some bridge in town. I grabbed my camera and off we went.
After unsuccessfully circling around for an hour, I decided to call it off and head back.
That’s when God told Christine to persevere, and to go in a different part of town. And there he was, Willard Parker, the perfect physical representation (in my opinion) of Kathi’s Unexpected Christmas Hero‘s main character. We stopped the car and asked him if he was homeless and willing to pose for a few photos, after explaining to him the book story.
Willard said yes and was very accommodating. While driving to a suitable place for the photos, Willard offered us a glimpse of his life. He lost his house a few years back. He has a daughter somewhere north (maybe Detroit?) whom he lost touch. Willard also believes in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We had a sense of great sadness in his life, that it didn’t turned out the way he hoped for. Willard had a very humble and kind spirit. But we sensed a quiet yet powerful sparkle and desire for life. He longed to see his daughter, and we felt how hard that would be for him in his present situation. He is basically illiterate as I found out (when I asked him to read and sign the Model Release).
I wanted to buy him lunch in a restaurant but he politely declined (maybe for fear of not being “part of the crowd”). We gave him some money and left, with a heavy heart and deeply moved.
While designing the cover, I prayed that the one with him would be chosen (there were others being considered), so I could send him a few copies, that in turn he could send one to his daughter (assuming we locate her). I prayed that God would make this happen, that He would flood his daughter with new love for her dad after seeing him on a book cover, that she would be proud of him, that she would have a great desire to reunite with him, just like we long to reunite in love with our Father. I hoped and prayed for it to happen. It would be the greatest Christmas gift of all for Willard.
Then the cover with Willard was chosen and the author decided to launch a campaign to find Willard’s family and reunite them. Thank You, God! We hope/pray that many of you will join us to spread the word. Sooner or later, someone out there will recognize Williard’s picture and/or name and know how to contact his family. Thank you all for being part of this! Now let’s get to work and see what God can do!!!
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Now here's how to put a BANG on the end of a book tour ... this just in from Kathi Macias ...
MOST EXCITING NEWS FOR YOU ALL! It's a Thanksgiving miracle!!! You may know that we've been trying to help Mr. Willard Parker, the homeless man who so graciously posed for the cover of my Christmas book find his family. Well, I just got off the phone with his grown daughter! Someone saw the book and told her about it, she tracked it down, and sure enough, it was her long-lost daddy! Both she and her other grown sister can't wait to see him--and to introduce him to his four grandchildren. Oh, God is soooo good!!!