Whew! Six months in planning and it’s all over now. I was on the planning committee for the Miracle Hill annual fundraising banquet. The Spartanburg mission has not had much success raising money in years past. This year we were hoping that having a big name like Ron Hall, NY Times Number One best seller co-author of Same Kind Of Different As Me, as our speaker would bring in much needed donations. SKODAM was the reason I became a volunteer at the mission, so knowing Ron Hall was coming to Spartanburg to speak got me all excited.
The first few planning meetings we had dealt with how many guests do we plan for. We knew we were going to use the downtown auditorium as our venue, but the amount of space it provided scared us. We bounced ideas around about how we could cozy up the big space, thinking we would never be able to fill it up. Little did we know the plans God had for this event.
97 tables had to be set with the right number of place settings. Some had 8, some had 9 and some crammed in 10 people at a table. 110 potted mums needed to be schussed up with mesh fabric and ribbon. Programs needed to be at each setting. Big ol’ ferns were arranged around the stage and entrance. Luckily we had lots of help!
Beautiful. And to think at the beginning planning stage, we were afraid we’d only have about 50 tables. And here we were on the night of the banquet, with people calling from Charleston to say that they wanted to attend. We had 100 tables with not an empty seat.
Now I needed to get myself ready. I bought a new blue/grey dress, (a $15 steal), new suede wedge shoes (with zzzippas! ), an orange necklace and earrings, and a smoothing-out-my-lumpy-thighs slip. Nothing fancy. I paid less than a hundred dollars for the whole outfit, but I felt pretty.
Superman and I attended the meet ‘n greet with Ron Hall. Mr. Hall and his wife Beth were so gracious and kind. There were only a few invited guests, which allowed us to speak one on one with the couple. They are in the process of making the book into a movie…Yippee! My friend Cindy asked Ron if he and Denver ever thought this book would have the success it has. Ron answered that they had written the book in hopes to raise some money to build Debbie’s dream homeless shelter. The books came in from the publisher. After all their friends and family had a book, they still had hundreds of books left sitting in the living room. Not knowing what to do next, Denver suggested they give it all to God. So they did. And here Ron is. (Denver passed away a couple of years ago.)
Even my favorite three year old came. Brayden accompanied his mom, Nina. She and I were on the program to give our testimonies about Miracle Hill. Sweet Superman didn’t have a clue that I was speaking that night. He thought I was just giving a quick intro for Nina, not speaking for 13 minutes! Moments before I was to go up on stage, I decided it might be best if I went to the back of the room and get my slip all straightened out, so I wasn’t tugging and pulling as I was walking up the steps. As I was standing back there I, of course, had to go to the bathroom. While sitting there in the stall, I realized that the guy speaking before me may be done and is waiting for me! I quickly flushed and ran out the door. It would sooo be me to be the one sitting on the pot, while 800+ people are waiting for me to take the stage.
I made it in plenty of time. Luckily for me, my sweet friend Zina, prayed over me before I went up. As soon as I walked up to the podium, I lost all fear because with the bright lights in my eyes I couldn’t see anyone in the audience. Perfect!
Nina bravely gave her testimony of God working in her life. She told us about her life these past ten years and how she came to Miracle Hill. It was her stay at MH that she found God again and was shown what true Christlike love looks like. Here Nina is with Brayden and Becky, the Miracle Hill Women’s director. Becky will be the first one to tell you that she took a chance accepting Nina and her chronically ill son as clients when every other mission said no. And yet this risk turned out to be one of the most awe inspiring decisions she ever made.
Well, as of this morning, the fundraising banquet has raised over $130,000!! Can I hear a Woot Woot! The banquet committee prayed and took a leap of faith, planning for numbers beyond our wildest dreams. I followed God’s call to volunteer. Nina’s faith was renewed in a homeless shelter. God does live.
Thank you for dropping by,