Wow! What a great turnout tonight for the Benefit Dinner in honor of Manual & Renee. I didn't get to say hi to all of my friends, saw many of them across the room, and others that I never even saw but heard later were there. It is so hard sometimes in a big group to get around to everyone. Lots of people from Oklahoma came down, which was really kind of them to make the effort.
For those of you that don't know, Manual has cancer. Kidney and Lung. He is set to go to MD Anderson this next week to see what options they might have for him. Please keep them in your prayers. This has been a tough journey, but they know they have the Lord with them by their side and that He will work this out according to His Will. We also know that the Lord hears and answers prayer and that we can make our requests known to Him and He will hear us! What a blessing that is.
Manual & Renee had all the people that were the closest to them sit at their table. Many of them were people who no longer meet with the Fort Worth Group of Christians, but who love them dearly and who are very much apart of and involved in their lives. I was grateful that Manual & Renee did this because it showed who truly are their friends. They didn't feel the need to have others at their table who they are not close to, only because they "still come to meetings". You might not understand, but in the situation with a lot of dynamics going on in this assembly, I think it was a needed message regardless of what is said by others.
There were lots and lots of small dollar stuff for the Silent Auction. As I walked around the room and viewed the items, I wasn't thinking we were going to have the results we did. I don't mean that in a mean way, I simply didn't see the high bids and wasn't sure we would raise very much, but in the end, it was a good result. We raised $5K from the dinner itself and $12K in Auction items. I am sure it was over $17K by the time everyone paid their dues because I know several paid more. I wasn't going to bid on anything because I have no real needs and have tons of things [truly more than one person needs in a house], however I then thought since I was going to donate some money anyways, if I found some neat items I could just give them as gifts. In the end, I bid on three items: a cream throw, a cute sign that said Amazing Grace with a flower on it, and a burlap pillow that had the word HOME written across it made by Charlotte Bishop. I was the highest bidder for the throw. I was bidding against two individuals for the Amazing Grace sign, and the price kept going up and up. One of the people who was bidding was very irritated with me for bidding it up. This person told me at one point to stay away, it was theirs. I laughed and said, I am not sure I am going to bid more, I need to think about it. In the end, I did. The person found me later and said I am going to slit your throat, I want that really bad, you are having way too much fun with this. I was bewildered. It is a Silent Auction. That means you can bid an item up if you want to and pay as much money for it if you want to. If they want it, they have to pay more then I am willing to pay. That is how it works. Why would you be so upset over something like this? It hurt. I wasn't doing this to make enemies...and if truth be told, when I initially saw their name on the bidding sheet, I thought it would make a nice birthday gift to them as what I wanted to do for their birthday never worked out with their schedule. However when the bidding got higher and higher and those things were said to me, it made me just want to keep it because it simply was a lovely item that I loved and really wanted in my house as I knew it would look perfect. In the end, I wasn't the highest bidder. However I learned that the person who was had every intention of giving it to me because of how much that message means to me! Wow!!! I told them they should have sent me a text message and I wouldn't have continued to keep bidding against them. LOL! I am sure that now I have an enemy for sure in the deal with these results. Ugh. Regardless of my Silent Auction bidding experience, I am very glad for the results of the evening! Even though we could have done all that giving without that work. LOL!!! I was at a Fund Raiser the first week of January for a Mission Trip to Uganda and $16K was raised in Joshua, TX just by giving hearts who wanted to bless the efforts of God - no meal and no items, simply money. I was absolutely BLOWN away that this much money could be raised in less than two hours by such a small town! I truly was disappointed we didn't end the evening in prayer...I have learned how important prayer is, how effective it can be on our lives when we do it, different styles and ways to pray from participating in Bible Study Groups, and it truly would have been a great way to finalize the evening. I think that would have been an uplifting time to a song that closed the time in sadness, Softly and Tenderly, just didn't seem to be a piece that brought about an uplifting, rejoicing and message of hope to me...but again, it wasn't my picking, it was someone else's. This is just the observation that I had as I came away from the evening after seeing the family break down crying at this point because of the tone this song left in the air. I didn't stay long afterwards because I was so beat by staying up so late, much later than I physically can do...though I keep trying to do it, it kills me every time. I can't do it. I want to so disparately and keep trying to forge ahead, but the undeniable issues I deal with later are plain awful.
In the end, I know it was a great opportunity to let Manuel & Renee know how much they are loved!!!