Thank you to everyone who came out for the “Let’s Finish This” event last Saturday. We had a wonderful evening on the property, enjoying food, hearing the vision of building hearts and minds, touring the campus, and writing our prayers and words of encouragement on the floor of the ARC. We hope to announcement the total amount raised next week after the outstanding pledge cards are returned. If you took a pledge card home, please return it by next week. If you would still like to make a pledge, you can do so on our Donate Now page or by filling out this pledge card and mailing it to the school office.
I have been asked what the highlights of the evening were. Here’s a few: A woman from the first graduating class of Illiana drove down from Wisconsin to attend the event. Senior Kyle Zuidema spoke about being all in and giving without holding back. He challenged all of us to give boldly, regardless of our age. The biggest highlight was watching future Illiana students write on the floor of the ARC. I enjoyed seeing everyone write on the floor, but there is something special about the kids. Kids are what this project is all about. Every shovel in the ground and every brick laid is really about building the hearts and minds of our children for Jesus Christ. The picture above sums up the event perfectly. (Now, I must confess that I am bias towards this picture because it is of my youngest daughter Jori.) It doesn’t take long to figure out she is my child based on how she spells, but I love what she wrote and it is a statement I pray everyone owns. “I prasie you cuase i’m fearful and wonderfle made.” We often forget that we are made in the image of our awesome God. Many attendees were in awe of the size and details of the new building and while it is an impressive building, it doesn’t come close to the miracles we are in Christ Jesus. We have been set free by the cross. We all need to own that. As Jori’s shirt states, “We are Illiana.” We are the body of Christ, and we are all a part of raising our children. Kyle referenced this too. Too many times we look to others to do something, to help that kid, to give money, to fix a problem. But we all have a responsibility to help raise the children of our community. I honestly like that she spelled things wrong too. None of us are perfect, but we celebrate and praise the One who is. We will make mistakes as a school, as parents, as teachers, as kids, but those mistakes don’t define us, Jesus does. Let’s not focus on our mistakes. Let’s focus on and praise the One who fixed our mistakes.
Thank you again for coming and for giving. If you haven’t given, I pray that you will consider one more gift so we can “Finish This.”