Note: The author of this post is David Parker, Chair of the Mission 1:27 Board of Directors.
Just over a week ago, the Mission 1:27 Community celebrated at the 3rd Annual “To Russia with Love” Fundraiser (see pictures below). The night was very special and what was so amazing is that I felt the presence of the Slobodskoy children. Did you? The enlarged pictures of the beautiful children that decorated Pazzo’s that evening were both festive and special but did not explain this feeling of the ‘children’s presence.’ Then, it came to me. It was the emotion and the passionate stories present in many conversations that evening which made me and others feel as if the children were with us that evening. Didn’t you hear the kids saying “tell them about me, go ahead and tell them about me and what makes me special.” Did you feel the children’s presence?
At a Mission 1:27 Board meeting this past Wednesday, several board members spoke about the fund-raising event and I listened to revealing observations and a touching comment. One observation was that there were many new faces at the fundraiser and yes, what a marvelous blessing that people would give of their time and resources to be present that evening! The comment which captured our attention came from several people who were new to Mission 1:27; they were attending the fundraiser to support and acknowledge a friend’s passion and devotion who was active in Mission 1:27! Now, that kind of support can only come from a friend indeed! If you were able to attend this event, you will not soon forget the joy, passion and tears of Norma Mungia during the auctioning of her incredible cooking and party talents; it was almost as if the children were huddled around her providing comfort, support, and saying “thank you, Norrrrma!!!”
The fundraiser was very successful and once again the Lord has been good to us. Nearly $19,000 was raised for programs in the orphanage, Ministry Center, and the soon-to-be-implemented jobs program. Each program is designed so that the children grow in their confidence, build trusting relationships, and develop character traits important to being productive citizens and employees. Further, we hope to help break the orphan cycle by building in opportunities for the participants to share what they’ve learned with younger children who share a common background.
In 2013, you’ll receive more specific details about these programs. You are all invited to attend the Mission 1:27 Community Work Group gathering for open discussion and communication about the children and Mission 1:27….stay tuned!
The evening would not have been successful without you and the efforts of the “To Russia with Love” committee. I want to thank Deanne Bradley for her leadership and time in organizing the “To Russia with Love” evening! Deanne’s faithful and passionate committee spent many hours meeting, planning, securing donations, and the event was just outstanding and we thank the committee for all their efforts. The committee members were: Kim Hanlon, Patsy Smith, Cynthia Wheaton, Holly Wood, Lawson Travers, Ali Bratten, Jen Murden, Melissa Smith and Leslie Fine. We give thanks for all who were able to attend the fundraiser, the individuals and companies who donated items for the silent auction and for Seth Kingsbury and Pazzo’s for their ongoing support of Mission 1:27.
Looking around during the Fundraiser and seeing the impact on the attendee’s faces compels me to look upwards and give thanks. We give thanks for the opportunity to be involved in serving children who have been cast aside and marginalized by society. Each of these children is on purpose and has a purpose and although we cannot fix the problem, we can answer God’s call to love these children.