The Banquet

We celebrated our 5th anniversary Tuesday night with our annual dessert banquet, and it was an amazing evening.  I may say this every year, but we definitely had the best banquet we’ve ever had.

My awesome wife Sunny did a great job decorating and coordinating all the desserts.  Here she is in action (if you don’t know, she’s the one on the left.  Either she finally has the chance to eat or she’s setting down more dessert on the table):
 
We held our silent auction of the kids paintings (see here) and raised a lot of money (the kids will be pumped about that).
I shared the 10 things I’ve learned in 5 years – I’ll be posting that soon, but here’s what it looked like when I spoke:
I then had a couple of our high school seniors share a little bit about Mission 2540’s role.  Nick made everyone laugh and then moved us while sharing about our relationship:
 
Then NeNe shared her incredible testimony and I can’t really think about it with out still getting choked up. She has an amazing story, but I really didn’t think she would be open and trasparent about it in front of a room-full of strangers.   She shared about how her stepdad murdered her mom and how as a result she couldn’t trust men and how she learned to trust me, then God, and then how she began to heal. She actually cried quite a bit, which she really does not like to do, especially in front of people.  Powerful, gut-wrenching stuff. 
On the way to the banquet, she said, “Is everyone going to come up and hug me when I’m done.  Cuz I don’t want them to.”
Me: “Well, Brenda (Trafton) for sure will.”
NeNe: “That’s fine.  She always hugs me.  But I don’t want strangers hugging me.”
After the banquet was over, at least half the room came and hugged her.  And I think she liked it.  Here’s NeNe:
Then my buddy Jody Wilson closed it all out with an awesome song he wrote about ministering to broken kids (it was inspired by a night we spent together ministering to kids at Angel Tree Camp in August.  I don’t have a picture of Jody singing, but he was awesome. 
Here’s Nick, NeNe, and me after it was all over.  What a great night:
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