Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Breakthrough Benefit

It has been awhile since I have actually written anything in this blog so here I go with some thoughts.

It is the busy time of the year at Breakthrough. Last Friday was our benefit. It is always a great feeling for me when I see the ballroom at the Hyatt Regency on Wacker filled with 1,000 guests, the big stage with media screens on each side, the beautiful centerpieces, the lighting, and especially the Breakthrough youth choir on stage sounding better and more confident every year.

I had 12 minutes to speak, although I think I stretched it to about 15. When I sat down I thought of all the things I wished I had said. I failed to tie into our theme, which was that when something is healthy it grows and needs to be repotted to remain healthy, and I didn't even mention the Family Plex, the next project in our 2010 plan. I wanted to talk about the 7 graduates from our Youth and Family Services program who entered college this fall, in a community where fewer than 5% have a college degree and nearly half drop out of high school.

I did get the opportunity to introduce Alice, a woman who has been freed by God from a thirty year addiction to heroin and all of the other things associated with life on the streets. She is very courageous about giving her testimony because she is so grateful to the Lord for restoring her. She has a beautiful story.

Dr. Joseph Stowell spoke. He was wonderful as always.

Since this was our largest event of the year we had high expectations for what we would raise financially. We were trying to meet the Kresge Foundation challenge to finish our five million dollar capital campaign and finish our building renovation project. We needed to receive $500,000 in gifts and pledges to get to 4.6 million. When we get to 4.6 the Kresge foundation will give us the last $400,000. We raised $378,000, which is wonderful, but it fell short of our goal. Now the challenge is to come up with that $120,000 shortfall so that we can get the building built without having to cut into our general operating funds.

While fundraising for the ministry never ends and can be burdensome at times, it is also an opportunity for us to find new friends who will get behind what we are doing and experience the joy of giving with us. It is a real test of my faith and I am praying that God will show us what to do.

Anyway, it seems ridiculous to complain about raising $378,000! That is a ton of money and I am grateful. I was reminded by a friend that God usually supplies the manna way... just enough for today. That is what keeps us on our knees and utterly dependent on the Lord day by day.

Of course, right after the benefit, when we were struggling with what to do about the shortfall, and I was feeling like maybe this job is too much for me and I should hand it over to someone more capable, I heard about a CEO position with a global orphanage ministry that would pay three times my salary! I have to admit, I was tempted. But I love Breakthrough. It is not a sacrifice to stay. For now, I know this is where I am supposed to be.


Anonymous said...

Will pray for God to provide the other $122K. Agree w. ur friend about the manna thing, tho' it is kinda frustrating to be so dependent and helpless. Good to remember the Lord's in control & will provide in His timing (don't mean to throw out Christian sayings). HEBREWS 11:24-27

Arloa Sutter said...

Thanks for praying and for your encouraging words. My neighbor, Nettie Bailey, who we named our Breakthrough academic program after because of her faithfulness to the Lord and education, constantly talks about God being the "Ultimate Arranger". I think the key is to listen to the Spirit's leading day by day. I believe we will always have enough money and time to do what we are supposed to do, the key, I think, is knowing what our part is to do. That takes lots of prayer, worship and listening to God. Thanks again for your wise words!

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention: I think it's awesome that 7 grads from your youth program are entering college.

Arloa Sutter said...

Thanks J

Marcie Curry said...

As far as your speech's always natural to second always do great speaking at the benefit and this year was no exception!!!

V said...

hi arloa! i'm new to your blog but am a huge supporter of breakthrough. my husband and my Bible study group are looking to get more regularly connected and committed to your work.

i met you at trinity when you came to speak recently, and attended your benefit last year. arloa, i'm so grateful for the powerful work of breakthrough, for your commitment, and for what you have taught so many through your conviction. i totally understand the temptation of discouragement or loneliness in times of need. but thank you for all you and your staff continue to do. God bless you tons! --v

Arloa Sutter said...

Thanks V!