Ian and Larissa: One Year Later

Note: Click the CC button to watch this video with captions in 18 different languages.

It’s been one year since we released this video, very simply titled: “The Story of Ian and Larissa.” The response was (and continues to be) stunning — over 1.5 million plays online from viewers around the world. But such impressive numbers only faintly echo the measure of grace in the lives of Ian and Larissa Murphy. And to mark the one-year anniversary of the video release, we wanted to reconnect with them for a quick update through this written interview.

Ian and Larissa, thank you for your time. The video has generated a lot of responses — and diverse ones at that. Any thoughts on the response? Any surprises?

Ian says the response has been standard awesomeness from our friends and family. :)

In general, we have received overwhelmingly supportive response to our video. I’m not sure that any of us anticipated the number of views that it would receive nor the geographic reach it would have. We still receive emails on a weekly basis from people who have seen our video for the first time — often because their pastor showed it at church or someone shared it in a small group — and we get to hear how God is still using it to show himself to his people.

I (Larissa), have been surprised by how the video has affected people. I thought that more people would be affected by our relationship. But the majority of responses we have are from people who have suffered from or care for someone who suffers from a disability. God has used Ian so much to provide hope for people who are struggling, which is a beautiful thing.

We were also surprised to find that there are still people who don’t understand disabilities or place value on someone who is disabled. That has weighed heavily on our hearts but also helps us to keep going in making our story public so that we can continue to try to deliver the message that God values life — life of the unborn, disabled, healthy, etc.

I hear you are sharing more details of your life together in a forthcoming book project. What can you tell us about it?

Yes, we are neck-deep in writing our manuscript for our book, scheduled to be released next spring through B&H Publishing. Several publishers caught wind of our story after the video was released and we’re now blessed to be doing something that we’ve always wanted to do — write our book. Once we began writing, we moved back into Ian’s mom’s house to have extra help and extra time to write, which has been super fun (he still has two siblings at home). We’ve also started booking a few speaking engagements and have been able to meet incredible men and women.

I look forward to reading more details about your story next spring. Speaking of updates, can you give us a health update on Ian?

This has been a great year for Ian. He started seeing a new physical therapist who has pushed him so hard to start walking. He walks every day with his walker now and left the house without his wheelchair for the first time in seven years! It's not easy for him — he still has to fight really hard to get his body to do what it should. But God hasn’t stopped healing him, even seven years after his injury. He’s also started painting and has opened a shop online to sell paintings to pay for his therapy. Anyone who loves someone with a brain injury knows what a huge miracle it is that Ian can create something from his mind — it’s truly incredible to watch him and see him have an outlet again for his creativity.

This is great news! ... On a more sober note, on top of writing and speaking, you have also found time to get involved behind the scenes with a documentary exposing the grizzly crimes of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is now on trial for murder. The documentary — 3801 Lancaster — has been featured on CNN, Fox News, and other media outlets. Tell us about your role in this film.

Three of our dear friends began filming a documentary about this case two years ago and through conversations with them we were convicted of our need to be involved with this story so that we can do our part to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I (Larissa) am on the Board of Directors of SeaChange, a non-profit which helps to fund and provide support for their film, 3801 Lancaster, which so far has been an incredible experience through the work of our friends and the ministry that God seems to be building for us.

Ian and Larissa, thank you for your time, thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for investing your energies in helping other stories get told.

Readers can follow Ian and Larissa online through their blog, Pray for Ian, and on Twitter.


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Tony Reinke (@tonyreinke) is a content strategist and staff writer for Desiring God and the author of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (2011) and John Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (2015). He hosts the Ask Pastor John and Authors on the Line podcasts, and lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and their three children.