WARNING!!! WARNING!!! WARNING!!!
By November you will be unbelievably sick of political adds. I want to give you a heads up and let you know that sometime within the next ten months you may feel the same way about me and my pursuit of raising much needed funds for HYC. I apologize in advance for this but there are major improvements that need to take place. The past five years have seen steady improvements on grounds, equipment and additions at HYC but the pace has been too slow. You need to know that this endeavor has not been entered into easily. I did not just wake up this morning and decide, after hearing a podcast on God given dreams, to pursue a major improvements campaign. For well over a month I have prayed, fought, and discussed with God at length the reasons I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS. Let me share some of those reasons with you. First of all, I’m busy, I don’t need to add anything to my list to make my day full. Second, I’m pretty comfortable with the pace we’ve currently set and the progress that is currently being made, third, did I mention I was already busy??? Fourth, I’ve seen my dad raise a lot of money for HYC in the past. Some of those major endeavors I noticed caused an increased stress level. Why would I want to add increased stress levels to a home that already has two teenage boys? Fifth, did I mention I’m busy?
The logical question after reading such a ready defense then I know would lead you to ask why I think God would want me to continue this pursuit. I’m glad you asked.
Six years ago while attending a Piatt Lake Board meeting someone asked why our facilities couldn’t be as top notch as, and then she listed one or two conference centers in MI. My immediate reaction was, “ I can give you about one million reasons why, they all have George Washington’s face on them and they all came from a handful of really wealthy contributors to the center”. Now, I can’t remember why my wife sent me to the grocery store 20 minutes after being on the phone with her but this comment, from this meeting, has stayed with me for close to six years now. And the answer to her question is, “it can” and not only can it but it should. And there is a nagging, somewhat competitive, challenging, inner voice telling me to do it that comes to my mind when I remember her words.
Along with that the challenge of raising the kind of funds we’re talking about has always seemed like far to big an assignment for me to handle. It’s a giant I don’t want to mess with. This past summer every speaker spoke from I Samuel 19 and David facing a giant, including myself. After camp was over a staff member mentioned this fact as they gathered and suggested that he didn’t believe that was by accident. I thought that was a great insight for the staff gathered there and hoped they would heed his words. The following week as I made my way for the first time back to the gym for my daily routine, I searched on Youtube for a sermon to listen to while I worked out. At random I selected a pastor I had not listened to all summer. I did not read or see anything indicating what he would be speaking on. When he began reading from I Samuel 19 and then asked “What is the giant you are refusing to face?” I thought to myself, “Hey Einstein, maybe God is trying to speak to you too?” I’m pretty bright like that so it only took hearing a message on facing giants five times for me to figure out that maybe God wanted me to face this giant sooner rather than later.
There is also a small group of current staff members who are not only passionate about the idea of raising money for HYC they are willing to work to help make it happen. When talking with a board member a week or so ago about this idea and seeing if they thought it was a good idea, they suggested that getting as talented and committed a group as these together for a common cause doesn’t happen by accident and moving forward with the fundraising effort seemed like a must. Add that to the fact that everyone else I’ve spoken to about the idea thinks it needs to be pursued. Then add the thought of “Go til He says NO”. I keep looking for Him to say no. In some cases I’ve pleaded with Him to show me the answer is no. I’ve had no such luck. The answer from Him I believe is yes and the time is now.
Finally, I’m realizing that half my life is currently behind me. In the end the only thing that matters is what I did for Christ. I have this vision in my head, of a summer evening when I am long gone from this earth, when someone interrupts my conversation with my grandma and says “you’ve got to come see what’s going on at Hiawatha tonight.” As we look down we see a Miracle Building filled with young people making life changing decisions for Christ and he whispers “you helped make that happen”.
Thank you for your partnership with HYC. Know that the monthly gift you give has helped to make so many blessings from this past summer at Hiawatha possible. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing how you can better pray, promote and share in this giant fundraising effort.
Craig & Lora
P.S. Check out our app for sermons from this past summer, easy ways to give to HYC and videos.