I've been knee deep in planning and stressing about a fundraiser our youth group took on. One of our sponsors has sold Potato dumplings at the annual Crosby Lutefest for years. This year her husband and her took a cruise the weekend of Lutefest, so she offered the booth, and her recipe to the youth group as a fundraiser. The youth agreed this would be something fun and thus began the planning.
I always get so wrapped up in the behind the scenes and trying to make it all perfect. When we found out about a death in the family that would prevent me from being there on Wednesday when the youth would be making the dumplings I began really stressing! With the help of a wonderful youth parent the dumplings were made in record time, and the church kitchen left no traces (other than the smell of slow cooked pork) of the events of the day.
As today approached I realized I knew little to nothing about what would be happening. Having never been to the Lutefest, I had no idea what to expect. And I had not seen the sign up sheet for the youth workers, so I had no idea what I had on my hands. I packed the truck with all the things on the list we would need for selling and said a little prayer that it would all come together in the craziness of no one really knowing what was happening!
The day went off without a hitch. The potato dumplings were a huge success, and we sold out 3 full hours before the festival was supposed to end! Over 100 potato dumplings were sold and enjoyed by a huge crowd enjoying all the Norwegian offerings of the festival.
As I sat alone in the booth waiting for my husband to come pick me up, I counted the money in the cash box. We had almost $500! Wow. How amazing! Of course minus our expenses.
I listened to the music from the Norwegian band and sipped my apple cider behind the big white cooler on the table bearing the sign "Sorry, SOLD OUT, catch us early next year!", and a man from the community came up to chat. He asked how sales went and I told him about selling out, and how much money we had made. He had taken his cash clip out of his pocket, and I figured he wanted one of the bottled water's I was selling. He asked me how much expenses had been. I said "Probably about $150 with everything I figure, maybe a little bit more." He pulled two $100 bills off the clip and laid them on the cash box. He told me "lets call it $200. Now that's just between you and me". I thanked him very much and I put the bills into the cash box. As he walked away I was moved to tears by his generosity. What a simple gesture, to pull two bills out of his pocket and lay them on the counter. And in that simple gesture, there he stood in front of me. I saw Jesus in him, in that man who so generously paid the expenses for our fundraiser.
This whole process has been filled with Jesus. He stepped in and found willing hands when I couldn't be there, he gave strength and smiling faces to our youth who worked the booth, and he gave a generous heart to that man who gave his earnings to us.
In all those simple gestures, there he stood. Jesus stood there in front of me, in all those people. What an amazing sight!