You know what? You all started something, and it is pretty incredible what can happen when folks pull together to reach out to others.
Two years ago, one night on a wacky whim, I blogged about wanting to help Kenny's buddies in Kyrgyzstan have a little Christmas party and get a gift. I asked you all if it was at all possible for us to raise $1000, and I'd sweeten the deal by letting the boys throw a pie in my face if we hit our goal. Within 2 days, we hit $1000, much to my complete surprise. Then John Wright upped the ante and issued a 2nd $1000 challenge to see if Dominick could get "pied" as well. We hit that one too, and so not only did Mom and Dad LaJoy get it in the face, but the boys also got in on the fun and got splatted as well, much to their great joy.
Two years later, and John shared something with me tonight as we watched the countdown of the Pie Challenge of 2010 draw to a close. From that single silly challenge of two years ago, do you realize that others all around the world (Yes, even in Kyrgyzstan) have picked up on it and issued their own pie challenge.
What started as a hope to raise $1000 for 65 kids to get Christmas has led to...get this...
$23,000 in donations as of this evening, and that doesn't even count a $10,000 matching grant to LAMb if we hit the $10,000 goal this year.
The power of One, my friend, is stronger than we all can even imagine.
But it is really not about "One", is it? For one might start the ball rolling, but alone, we can never accomplish much. It is hand in hand, being in community with one another, that we see amazing, incredible things happen.
$33,000 raised, all started from being very typically, weirdly LaJoy, which is not really being typically like anyone else (grin) as I sat on this very same couch in front of this very same fire 2 years and 2 kids ago :-)
It was you, it was every single one of you who donated $5 here, $50 there. It was your own desire to see the Kenny's of Kyrgyzstan feel loved and cared for. You heard their story, the story as told by John, myself and so many others, and you let it settle inside your hearts enough to move you to action. YOU are the power of One...YOU made a difference and continue to do so in a million ways every day of your life.
I know that many who follow our family are not all that enamored of our God stuff. Sure, there are plenty of self-identifying Christians that read our blog, but there are also many who are not and who might even cringe a bit when Spirit talk comes up. Despite that internal cringe, you return, over and over again. Maybe you see a God here that you haven't seen elsewhere, maybe you are intrigued, maybe you can identify, or maybe you think it is all hogwash but we are so nuts you have to tune in to see what other ridiculous thing we have gotten ourselves into. Whatever your reason for being part of this community, please know that I see God in you all, Christian or not. You have given our family a wonderful gift this Advent season, your generosity has spilled over into communities across the globe, and your open arms embrace in a virtual way those whom you have never met yet still have compassion for.
How can I not see the Spirit of God flowing through and around each of you??
Thank you for helping keep the meaning of Christmas alive. Thanks for taking the ball and running with it. Thanks for proving to me once again that God does not want us living in such a way as to first say "We can never find enough money, there is never enough." but instead that God smiles upon us and wants us saying "OK God, I am counting on You...You promised so I don't have any worries at all! All needs will be met.".
And remember, the Power of One is real...but it is really about the Power of All.