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Community support provides hope for pastor and family involved in crash where 2 girls are in ICU

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two little girls are fighting for their lives after getting into a serious crash this week on the way to school with their dad and big brother. The dad is a local pastor and is now recovering alongside his children. The family is receiving an overwhelming amount of support from the community.

They are a beautiful family, trying to make a difference in Kansas City and now find themselves needing help from others.

“Kansas City is such a generous community and they’ve recognized we’ve got a five-star family laying their lives down in the inner-city and now they’re needing help, let’s rally behind them and help them get through this thing,” said Tim Johns, father and grandfather of the crash victims.

Wednesday morning, Pastor Jason Johns was taking his three kids to school: Hope, 5, Elise, 8, and Kaden, 10. Another car pulled out in front of them at Gregory & Paseo. Even at 35 miles per hour, the impact was so strong, it pushed the family’s truck into a light pole.

“It’s pretty serious. We’re in a fight for the lives of these children, especially these two girls,” said Johns.

Hope and Elise are both in the ICU at Children’s Mercy. Elise is on life support. Hope has an uphill battle, but is starting to show subtle signs of progress.

“She’s a fun-loving little girl. She is responding to commands, you know, ‘Hey, Hope, squeeze my hand. Would you like us to sing you a song?’ You know, nods yes,” Johns said.

Dad Jason is pretty banged up, but checked himself out of the hospital to be by his wife and daughters. Their son Kaden is out of the hospital now, too, with his arm in a cast. He’s focused on seeing his little sisters recover.

“We are grateful they are still alive, and we’re fighting every inch of the way right now,” said Johns.

The Johns family bought an old Catholic church and 9th & Norton and made it part of the “Rock Tribe” church. Jason still doesn’t take a salary and has no insurance. But their deep love for the community is being rewarded through mountains of prayers and nearly $80,000 in donations to a GoFundMe page.

“We can feel the love and prayers. Without that, it would be devastating—more devastating. We never expected this outpouring of support,” Johns said.

While the medical prognosis for Hope and Elise is tough, the family find promise in relying on their faith and knowing that miracles can still happen.

Police continue to investigate the crash. So far, the driver who hit the Johns family hasn’t been ticketed or charged. The family is just hoping their story and how they are facing this tough time will serve as an inspiration to others.

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