miracles happen: $40,308 raised


God never ceases to humble us & amaze us. Today our church hosted our ninth annual Dessert Derby and Dinner. This is our ONE fundraiser that we do for our youth ministry for the whole year. It helps fund scholarships for retreats, mission trips, camps and other events, as well as general facility & curriculum needs. We are incredibly blessed with a congregation who truly cares about the future of their middle school & high school students.  $40,308 was raised for our youth ministry today in just over 2 hours!!! PRAISE GOD! He is so good to us...

The much awaited, action-packed Dessert Derby is an all-church event. 120 students & more than 30 or 40 adults volunteer to make it happen + a very dedicated committee who plans and prepares for almost 6 months. Chad and I do all of the graphics work for the event (letterhead, brochures, posters, bulletins, slides, programs, any other printed odds & ends, as well as all of the photography during the event).

In the upper level of the building, a delicious meal is prepared and students serve it to the adults who attend (around 250 at $10 per ticket). While eating, the adults participate in a silent auction of 21 donated prize packages that range from bowling or Packers tickets to camping or a Hawaii getaway. There are also single bid items including 10 hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind sterling silver crosses that are created for the event and seats to a traditional English tea. Also, over the last couple months, student teams (separated by grade) decorated wooden chairs that were auctioned off as well.

During the dinner & bidding time, Devin (our youth pastor) gets the chance to brag on the youth a bit. He shares the success stories of our ministry stats and all the amazing ways that God works in & through our teens and volunteer adult leaders throughout the year. There are pictures of the student activities plastered everywhere, videos of student & adult testimonies and even a human video that a handful of students get to entertain the crowd with (kind of a musical drama of synchronized motions/acting to a song - very powerful!). Then we get to the derby part: there are 14 men in the church who prepared 14 elaborate (and quite decadent) desserts. After they are paraded around the room by the proud chefs, each of the 14 tables gets the opportunity to bid on the dessert of their choosing, in hopes of winning it for their table to feast upon. Thankfully, grazing & sharing of all desserts is encouraged.  :)

Meanwhile, there is an entire children's derby going on in the lower levels of our building for kids under the age of 8 (at $5 a ticket + free nursery care). Many of the students help in leading crafts and games with the kids, as well as taking care of the little ones in the nursery. So cute! The kids enjoy a pizza dinner and have just about as much fun as the adults do.

As you can probably tell, this event is very involved, and can be a bit fast-paced and overwhelming in our "cozy", tight space, but it's always SO cool to see how God uses it anyway. Amidst all of the countless hours that are put into this event, no matter how many challenges arise, or how many moments of stress we have on our part, every detail seems to work itself out flawlessly by the time the derby starts. AND, our church is always unbelievably generous & faithful! Last year we raised a record-breaking $35,000. The Lord continues to bless us each year. THANK YOU, EUM for your servants' hearts and another record-breaking derby!!

All glory is His alone.

More photos of the event can be seen here.