On Thursday, October 4th, we celebrated our 15th Annual Friends Dinner. At this event, we shared food and stories as we celebrated all that God has done through Beacon of Hope this past year and invited attendees to partner with us financially and spiritually as we move into year 17 of ministry.
The evening started with our silent auction. This year we were blown away by the number of local businesses and individuals who donated items; with over 30 items up for auction, there was truly something for everyone! We loved watching the joy on our winners faces as they walked away with their prizes: a custom baby blanket and diaper bag for a mom to be, getaways to the Shack Bed & Breakfast and Gulf Shores for weary couples, family photo shoots to capture precious moments in time, gourmet cupcakes to satisfy the biggest sweet tooth, and of course our African photo safari that was awarded to not one, but two winners! Thank you to all who donated to our silent auction! This portion of the dinner alone raised $5,150!
As the auction and dinner ended, we proceeded with the heart of our evening: testifying about all that God has done in the last year! Our Director of Counseling, Krista, shared west Michigan’s need for no cost biblical counseling by trained professionals in, a need that Beacon of Hope uniquely meets. Audience members were especially touched as she shared the needs of the Muskegon community (49% of households have an income of less than $25,000, the poverty rate is 37%, which is 147% higher than the national average, and violent crime is 84% higher than the rest of the nation). So moved by these stats, one couple is prayerfully considering starting a church plant in Muskegon. Another man, who has worked in Muskegon for over 30 years had no idea of the level of need that was right at his fingertips.
Krista broke down our ministry’s impact from the communities we serve to the interns who we empower to further reach our community and beyond. A recent intern, Olivia, shared how Beacon has shaped and honed her counseling skills, and more so, her passion to look after the hurting and outcast.
Following Olivia’s testimony, we shared how Beacon has impacted individual clients via this video.
After the video, Dr. Joseph Stowell challenged us to lay down our nets that we may better follow Christ, caring for those whom He cared for. Our attendees did just that! By the end of the night, we’d received $25,897 in donations and pledges. This, combined with the $5,150 from our silent auction, brings us to a grand total of $31,047, exceeding our $30,000 goal (and the donations from the dinner continue to roll in)! More importantly, this $31,047 translates into 1,293 client sessions that we’re now able to offer free of cost to our clients. Thank you to everyone who donated and continues to make our ministry possible!