the BBQ in tweets
take a chicken. cut off its head. let it run around. that is what i resembled the morning of the BBQ.
praying, Lord, please just let this be a success in your eyes, and let me not measure it with my own ‘success-stick’ for fear of it falling it terribly short. let it be just as you want it to be.
it is dang hot out here. can someone turn the A/C up outside? and yes, i AM cooling off the whole neighborhood. heeh.
a few guests arrive and we haven’t prayed yet. eeps! finding a private spot outside to pray over the event. some of our guests end up in the prayer circle. thank you, friends.
we have an ‘info hub’ set up right as people come in. it consisted of four laptops showing the Village of Hope website, a Village of Hope video, the VOH facebook page and the jonandtrace facebook page. we’ve also got some copies of my mission letter and a place to drop donations. a lot of people seem very interested in finding out more about what we are embarking on.
the grillin’ guys bring in the first of the burgers and dogs and kevin blakely prays a blessing over the food and our time together. the loading of the plates begins!
we put on a video of village of hope on the big screen tv so people can learn more about it while they eat.
jon and i take turns greeting people at the door, making sure they have a ticket* and giving them a brief tour of where to find things. it was great to be able to see people as they came in, i just wish i had more time with everyone.
*the tickets are given out, one to each family, for several drawings we had during the evening. some wonderful folks donated items for us to give away:
• two 1-hr massages
• one 1-hr personal training session
• 1 dinner for four prepared in the winner’s home by deborah
• 1 room painted (winner supplies the paint) by damon
• a framed photograph – jon’s handiwork
• a framed drawing – grethel’s handiwork
• 2 wire-frame beaded crosses made by lynde
• 1 bracelet made by sue
• several bracelets made by jo
it seemed like whoever won an item, that it was a perfect fit between winner and item. i was so pleased to see people getting to benefit with these generous gifts. i wish everyone could have won something!
the chicken with no head running around? yeh, that’s still me. grateful, though, for my family who is helping to care for the details so i can hobnob and talk with our guests.
then a very special guest walked in. someone i hadn’t seen since the late 80s. someone who lived with us for a while. someone whom i call ‘brother’. it was an unexpected delightful surprise and, yes, i cried.
answering questions about village of hope and the children there. one person was very concerned for our safety and talked about the many dangers there. i replied, not for the first time, “yes. imagine how those children must feel.” Father, may i never put my safety above obedience, may fear never paralyze me from serving you. may i prefer death and ridicule and tidal waves over staying too close to the shore you’ve called me away from. and Father, may i never choose safely resting outside of your will over serving you, regardless of any peril or pain that awaits me.
i looked around me. these are my dear friends, my loved ones, who care about me and care about this ministry we are sent on. God bless them all as they bless me by simply being a part of my life.
finally a chance to grab a veggie burger. i get through a third of it. called away to greet more guests.
a few more drawings. a few more winners.
i am introduced to tam’s friend who is sponsoring a child in africa – she showed me some pictures. she sent him money for his birthday and he used it to buy a goat. this goat provides much needed dairy products for his whole family. i think about what i spend my own money on.
i’m trying to visit with everyone. i know i missed getting to sit with some of them. “please forgive me! i love you and am delighted you came!”
some of my friends there are going on a mission trip of their own this summer. i know they have their own funds to raise, so them being there and contributing to our trip means all the more to me.
the evening is winding down and we give away the last door prize. hugs, kisses and farewells at the door. i turn around to survey the cleaning up to be done. my eyes land on a basket full of envelopes. each envelope contains a gift toward this mission and a story of its own. my heart has growing pains.
i finally finish my partially eaten veggie burger.
it is just family and a couple of dear friends left. we sit outside and sip on some wine and talk and laugh and drown in the goodness of one another’s company.
i update my facebook profile status: i have blessings bigger than my heart can hold. they overflow.
the BBQ that i fretted over seemed like it was just as God had intended it to be. i felt honored to be a part of it. what did i do to deserve such great friends? nothing. it is a gift from God that cannot be earned, only treasured. and treasure it i shall. i see all of your faces. i recall our words and the smiles we shared that day, and i treasure it all.
i wish i could say it better than that. grander than that. to really get my feelings out on the page. but… i guess more really isn’t better. hah. so… thank you.
we have less than $800 to raise. but greater than that,… we are marinating in God’s goodness and your friendships.
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