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Tonight was our Lamb Center Annual Celebration Banquet, our biggest fundraiser of IMG_5030the year.  When I joined the banquet planning team last year, we decided that we wanted to communicate this idea of celebration in the name of the event.  This is our opportunity to celebrate the miracles that happen every day through the work of the Lamb Center and to share that story with the people who have a heart for the poor and hurting in our community.  If we tell our story well, then they will want to be part of that story as well.

The Lamb Center’s story started in 1992 with a small storefront over a pawn shop equipped with a crock pot, a coffee pot and a handful of volunteers.  The story continued at our current location with well over 100 visitors a day, many more volunteers and a staff of 9.  We hope the story will continue in a new, larger location sometime next year with the opportunity to offer even more support to the guests who find their way to us.  In order for that to happen, raising money is part of the story.  It’s as simple as that.

i have been blessed to be part of the group of ladies on our banquet planning team.  We each bring our own unique gifts to the team and we wouldn’t be complete without each individual.  I have learned something personally from each of them as we have traveled this journey over the past 2 years of working together and I am blessed to call them each my friend.  They are each strong, vital women with a belief that loving Jesus means loving the poor.  Love with a capital L kind of love, love that is expressed in action, not just in words.  We worked hard to make tonight a success because it matters to us that the Lamb Center be able to continue loving the “least of these” in our community well.  Plus, we have a lot of fun together!!

In this season of my life, it is a special blessing that 3 of these ladies are a few years ahead of me on this journey.  Their children are grown and they have a few grandchildren between them.  They were so very, very kind to me in those weeks leading up to and the first few weeks after my girls both left for college.  They understood my tears, but also gave me reassurance that each stage has its blessings.  They inspire me with their heart for the poor, their love for their families and their strength and willingness to do what it takes to get it done…whatever the work that is before them.  They make me excited about this next phase of life.  When I grow up, I want to be just like them.

A highlight of this evening’s program were the testimonies shared by 3 Lamb Center guests.  Stories of transformation with the common thread of the Lamb Center’s support at a critical juncture in their story.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know two of the three guests who spoke fairly well during numerous bible studies together through the years.  I know their stories and I know that being treated with dignity and unconditional love by the staff and volunteers at the Lamb Center made all the difference.

It was a good night.  A little glimpse of the Kingdom.