On August 12, 2006, on a three-hour flight from Houston to Honduras for a mission trip, total strangers Dustin Blythe, Bill Clark, and Pastor John Dawson sat next to each other because their names were in alphabetical order. The three quickly forged a friendship.
As they learned more about each other and served the poor of Honduras, their experience ignited them to dream about how they could help others. On August 19, 2006, as they sat together on the flight home, they bounced ideas off each other and agreed they would serve others. They just didn’t know what that looked like yet.
Unbeknownst to them, upon landing back in Omaha, one of them would receive devastating news that would change all of their lives forever. During the flight home and hundreds of miles away, Dustin’s son, Treye Blythe, had been murdered.
Treye was 18 at the time and had been at a house party. He was tragically stabbed to death when he tried to pull a friend out of a fight. Treye lost his life trying to help a friend he barely knew. Despite this devastating loss, Dustin, Bill, and Pastor John continued to work on their calling to help others. Out of these experiences Project 52 was formed and today we continue to serve others.
Psalm 52 is perfect in light of the Trees to Remember Program — “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.“