Wow! I have been thinking about what to write today and I really can’t say much more than thank you. This community has been amazing with its support, generosity and love for the vision of building hearts and minds for Jesus Christ. It has been inspiring to witness our community not only reaching the goal of funding the completion of the ARC, but surpassing it by over $120,000! We are building an ARC.
Today, I want to focus on God’s faithfulness through you. I don’t want us to take for granted the generous hearts of God’s people. We know you can give your money to a lot of different places and we are so grateful you choose to support the vision of Illiana. When I think about every dollar you have given, I think about what will happen in this space we call the ARC. I think about the chapel services we hold three times a week and how for the first time in Illiana’s history, the entire student body will be able to worship together. I think about the drama productions and witnessing the phenomenal acting, singing, playing, and artistic talents of our students and how they use these talents to glorify God. These productions provide a community for our students that is unmatched in our school. Finally, I think about the students who will use their athletic abilities in that space and the life lessons about team work, effort, and desire that are modeled and taught with every practice and game we will hold. When you write checks or make donations, these are the things you are giving to our students.
So thank you again. As an employee of Illiana, as a pastor and as a parent, I thank you. I am so thankful that this community has rallied around building the hearts and minds of our students. And when I say community, you should know what a community effort this was. Since December of 2016, 827 donors have contributed to the “Build the ARC” campaign with an average gift/pledge size of $3,107. Since September of 2017, when we said “Let’s Finish This” with a goal of $1.5 million, the largest gift we received was $150,000 (the other 90% was funded by gifts smaller than this!). We received gifts of all sizes and many people have dug deep into their pockets. Every dollar was and is important and is an affirmation that what we do here matters.
In the next few weeks, I will be laying out a vision for the coming months. We plan to start hosting guided tours of the new campus for anyone who would like to see it. But for today and every day, thank you. And most importantly, join us in thanking God for his love and faithfulness to Illiana. We are truly blessed.