When Mountain Grove 8-year-old Kason Johnson saw his birthday balloons fly out of his family’s car into the sky recently, little did he realize how a chance encounter with a stranger 500 miles away would make this year’s birthday an even more special one.
Back on Oct. 13, Kason’s parents, Kayla and Kody Johnson along with siblings Kolton, Kalli and Kamden, sent him football balloons and chocolate covered strawberries from Spiceberry to Mountain Grove Elementary School.
Though his birthday was on Sunday, Oct. 16, Kayla wanted to send items to her son at school to celebrate his birthday.
The envelope on his balloons read, “Kason Johnson/2nd Grade/Mountain Grove Elementary” and had the Spiceberry stamp on it.
It also included the name of his teacher, Mrs. Shelley Pamperien.
When picking up Kason from school, as he was getting in, Kayla leaned over to help him. That was when the balloons escaped the vehicle.
Librarian Christy Gardner tried to catch them, but was unable to.
Kayla did note that Kason wasn’t too upset about the balloons getting away because he was “just happy” he had the strawberries.
One day later, a man named Todd Huyler, of Cleveland, Tenn., was mowing grass on some of his property.
In a letter he sent to the Johnsons, he told them that he was having his quiet time, reflecting on the past week and looking to the week ahead on how he will be able to be a blessing to others God puts in his path.
While mowing, he discovered the balloons along the tree line.
Huyler said it sparked a thought on how blessed many are to have teachers and thought of how the second grade student must have felt after losing his gift.
Huyler, who enjoys wood working, made gifts of his own. He provided an ink pen set for teacher, Mrs. Pamperien, and a small baseball bat for Kason.
On Oct. 25, a box arrived to the school for Mrs. Pamperien.
In it was Huyler’s letter; a picture of Huyler and his dog, Henry the dachshund; Kason’s bat which features the Bible verse Philipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me;” a bee charm; money; and replacement balloons.
Pictures were then taken of Kason with the gifts he received from the Tennessee man who was wanting to be a blessing to others. Mission accomplished.
“I was thankful that someone showed my son that there are still good Christian people in the world,” Kayla Johnson said. “I sent him a email and thanked him!”
Kayla did note that her cousins, Dan and Karen Lawson, also live in Cleveland, Tenn.
As for the verse Huyler chose, it has special meaning for Kason’s mom.
When Kason was 2, he could only hear at a 20% level and needed surgery to fix the problem with a likelihood of needing hearing aides.
At the same time, the family was told there was something wrong with Kason’s ankles and needed braces, which he wore for four years.
“We prayed and prayed six weeks after surgery he heard within normal range,” Kayla Johnson noted. “No hearing aides needed. And with his ankles running was supposed to be hard for him to do they said. Now he is usually one of the fastest on the field or court. God has truly blessed us.”
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