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A Story of Generosity

February 18, 2011 0 Share

    “Although the church started their $100 Adventure on Sunday, January 16, I sincerely believe that mine started four years earlier – in 2008 when my husband and I attended a Christmas Party and heard Ron Brown, the Executive Director of Teen Challenge, give a short but very moving presentation about his program.  I was very impressed. During the gift exchange that evening I selected a box that contained a crisp $100 bill and on the way home my husband and I agreed that we would mail it to Teen Challenge as a donation.

    Two years later we moved to Corona del Mar and after attending several churches began attending St. Andrews on a regular basis.  Not long after that, Ron Brown appeared in church one Sunday and gave another short presentation.  My husband and I were delighted to see him again and decided that we would attend a Teen Challenge Graduation and get involved in his program.  We were still in the process of moving and helping with our grandchildren and the days slipped by and soon another year had passed.

   We noted the date Teen Challenge graduation in the bulletin and marked it in our calendar but the date came and passed and we noticed the next day that we had missed it.  We vowed to attend on January 13 and actually got in the car, dressed and ready, put the address that I had scrawled on a piece of paper in our GPS and were on our way.  My husband commented several times that he didn’t think we were going in the right direction as he had understood it to be the other way.  At 9:30 am we were sitting in front of the Avis Rent-a-car.  He was correct, I had entered a wrong address and we had missed the graduation again.  We went on to tend to other errands with the vow to try again next month but God wasn’t going to wait another month.  On Sunday, January 16, church opened with a prayer that included blessings for the Teen Challenge graduates the Thursday before, I felt embarrassed again that we had missed the event.  When Rich called for volunteers from the audience I went forward.  When he pulled out the envelope and revealed the $100 bills– I suspected that my $100 adventure had already been 4 years in the making and that it would in some way involve Teen Challenge – but knew that prayer would make this clear.

    After church my husband and I went on a bike ride on the Newport Beach Bike trail.  When we stopped for a break I stayed with the bikes and was enjoying watching a man balancing on a unicycle 8′ in the air. I was fascinated.  “What are you smiling at?” he asked me looking down from his perch. “I’m just amazed that you can do that,” I responded. “Are you always this happy?” he asked. “Just about,” I shared. “Then you must be a Christian” he concluded.  I was stunned – no one had ever said that to me before.  When I shared with him that I was indeed a Christian and in addition I was one who was on a mission for God he dismounted the unicycle to hear more. I told him about the challenge and he left me his e-mail address with the promise to send $200 toward whatever I was called upon to do and offered to help in other ways if I needed his support. When I got home from the bike ride, the neighbors were cleaning out their garage.  When we told them what happened at church and the bike ride, they promptly wrote a check for another $100.  By the end of the day I had $400 and it was very clear the Holy Spirit was at work in my life and had already confirmed what Rich had promised all of us – that God will work through us and we will be changed.

     By Tuesday of the first week I had spoke with Ron Brown and shared the story.  He suggested I meet with Timothy Suk, the project Manager at Teen Challenge.  When Tim and I met later in the first week, we toured the facility and talked about the needs of their program and I shared my life experiences, career as an educator, and special interest and talents to see if there would be some clear reason I was sent to help.   Tim shared that Teen Challenge had a need for financial support for those graduates who want to pursue trade school or community college after Teen Challenge Graduation.  This seemed to be a match with my interest and experience with scholarship interviews and working with scholarship foundations and his need for help in this area.

     By the end of the week I had talked with the Vice President of the Orange County Community Foundation about the process to establish an Endowment Fund that would provide scholarships for tuition and books for trade school, community college, or four year college to be available to graduates of Teen Challenge and also those students who would eventually graduate from the new adolescent home Teen Challenge would be opening in late summer 2011. By the end of the second week I had a plan and over $1,000 and the paperwork and hard copies of the information has arrived from Orange County Community Foundation.  Everything was flowing so easily and my prayers were giving me confidence to move on.

     We have just returned from a trip we had previously planned to Washington and Oregon, and I am resuming work on the $100 Kingdom Assignment.  I will be making some appointments for next week to get support and ideas on ways to move the project forward.”

– Cheryl

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