In my last blog post I made mention of the vendor event that I was getting ready for which was on Saturday, October 18th. I heard about this even through the 50 Cent Auction group on Facebook that I have talked about several times. One Sunday afternoon, a woman by the name of Christen came to pick up her items that she won from me on the auction and handed me a flyer for an event she was planning. I asked if she had vendor booth spaces still available because if she did I’d like to bring my paper bead jewelry.
After a couple of weeks, things were settled and her event was put on my calendar. I was super excited because her goal was to raise support for her soon to be non-profit for the middle Tennessee area. Basically, KIMBO’SWISH is an organization who gives young kids with terminal illnesses their wish of meeting their favorite character. At the event, for example, Elmo and Anna and Elsa from Frozen made an appearance. My son was in HEAVEN! More about that later. This event was specifically put together to finish raising the needed fees to obtain her non-profit status with Uncle Sam. Anything raised after that would go to help a little boy’s parents with travel expenses, I believe, so he can get his next cancer treatment. The night before the event, I was talking to a teammate about my situation and she agreed to work my booth with me. At vendor events a person needs two people at the booths so that there is someone to cover restroom and lunch breaks. I was so relieved that Nancy would be helping me. Especially when I woke up the next morning an hour before I was supposed to be at the church to set up! I still had to shower, get around, get my 3 year old up and get him around, get a few things at Wal-Mart and breakfast for both of us. Did I mention my son had a caugh that wouldn’t stop? Not a good morning. I called Nancy and thankfully she was running absolutely on time so she was able to get our spot and tell the organizers what was going on. When I pulled in, she was standing there and I couldn’t help but throw my arms around her and get choked up. She was my strength and stability in that moment that I absolutely needed. If not for her, I don’t think I could have made it through the day. What a blessing she was to me. We hauled in all of our things and got settled in. Acutally first, Nancy saved the day again by going to the drugstore to get some cough medicine for Peyton. That REALLY helped him.
Everyone wave to Nancy! I’m pretty sure she was listening to Joseph Pope’s second song. More on that later.
My next hero(s) was Keri. Years ago when I started childcare in my home, her kids were my first ones to come to me fulltime. My goodness how they have grown. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw them. She also brought her teenager, Devin, and his girlfriend. They helped me so much by taking Peyton to the park to play, to play games at the event and even to get his face painted. Keri has done such a good job with her kids. She has SO much to be proud of, that’s for sure. At this event there were vendors, as I have said, but there was also live music, games for the kids, a silent auction, face painting and of course special appearances by popular characters! The first live musician to take the stand was a boy by the name of Joseph Pope. I believe I am getting it right by saying he is 12 years old and just a few months ago, he taught himself how to play the saxophone! This kid was AWESOME! His first number was “I’m Glad You Came,” by The Wanted. Wow…I literally stood there with tears in my eyes. The kid was awesome! His second number was “Happy.” Again he absolutely rocked the house! I wish there was a YouTube video or something of his performance because I know you would be as impressed as I was. An hour or so into the event, an announcement was made that Elmo would be joining the event soon. I didn’t tell Peyton about it until he was walking in the front door of the gymnasium. When he walked in and was being announced, I turned him around so he could see him and his eyes lit up so bright! He was in awe that Elmo was actually there! He wasn’t really sure what to do with himself other than to open his eyes and mouth as wide as they could go. I asked if he wanted to go see him and he took off running full speed across the gym to him. When I say running, I mean knees high, arms pumping, the whole nine yards. When I got over to him and pulled my phone out to take a picture, this is what I captured:
When Elmo made it over to our booth, he wrapped his arms around him for another huge hug!
He had such a great time. You would not believe the people God had in store for me to meet. One of the first people to come up to my booth was a woman who was in town from Alabama. She was helping her daughter with her booth or was volunteering or something. I told her about our mission trip and our long term plans. I also told her about Loft 218, the non-profit that the children’s home and life skills training center will be built under. She shared with me that her church is very missions minded and gave me a card with her pastor’s contact information on it. She encouraged us to call him to see if we could speak there one Sunday to gain support and prayers for what God has called us to do. Wow…I was so blown away that an event I almost didn’t make it to, God had this big of an appointment waiting for me. There were other people who came up and spoke to me about my jewelry, asked questions on how I got into it, what we would be doing in Rajasthan and such. I was so encouraged by the words of affirmation and encouragement I got from that crowd. One woman sat down and talked to me for probably 20 minutes about how God will direct my hands when making jewelry and my feet during the vision trip. How encouraging! I have said all along, financial support is obviously important where mission trips are concerned, but sometimes moral and emotional support are even more important. God proved this to me again at that event. An hour or so after Elmo came out, an announcement was made that Elsa and Anna were on their way to spend time with the kids and take pictures, too! Peyton, at the time, was at the playground with the teenagers so he didn’t get to see them walk in. As he was walking through the doors from playing, Keri was walking out of the restrooms and saw him. Because we had talked earlier about how excited he will be when they come out, she knelt down and turned him so he could see who was there. Oh he was over the moon excited to see them. He went and stood in line to meet them. I, again, walked over there with my phone to capture the moment. Soooo sweet. He was actually a little bashful to walk up to them but with my help he was good to go.
By the end of the day, I was so filled up and encouraged and blown away by all of the provisions God had given me that day. Between Friday and Saturday, I was pretty sure things couldn’t get much better! That evening, an update came up on the KIMBO’SWISH page on facebook:
WE DID IT!!!! We reached our goal of $1200 today! We made $1000 at the benefit and the remaining $200 was donated this evening! GOD IS GREAT & FULL OF SURPRISES…. AMEN. Thank you to ALL that cam out and volunteered their time, energy and patients today. What a true blessing you were! A SPECIAL THANK YOU GOES OUT TO JOSEPH POPE, TONY FROST & BRENDA LYNN ALLEN FOR THE AMAZING MUSIC…WOW! It was all wonderful!!!!
Not only did God provide me with serious encouragement, but he provided in a big way for KIMBO’SWISH! That is just awesome, isn’t it! Monday she was able to meet with her attorney to get the ball rolling for her official non-profit status! Go God! At one point, Christen brought attention to a table with a tree in the middle of it. Around the tree, there were framed pictures and stories of the kids KIMBO’SWISH has help in the last nine months. She highlighted each child and encouraged people to read each one at their leisure. How exciting! One of the boys represented on the table was at the event and was said to be in TOTAL REMISSION! Go GOD! His name is Hunter. I actually just talked to his mom on facebook and she said that he is almost ready to hit the TWO YEAR MARK!! You can follow his progress here!
Before I go, I want to draw your attention to one of the little girls who will be getting help from this awesome organization. Her name is Zoey and the boys and I have been praying for her for a couple weeks now. She was born with several birth defects, one which affects her little sweet heart. She has already had three surgeries on it and is in need of a fourth one. This surgery needs to be done in Boston. The cost associated with this surgery and the travel expenses thereof are pretty hefty. If you feel lead to donate any amount to her medical expenses, her family has set up a GoFundMe account for this purpose. On that page, you can also read more about her there. Stay tuned for my blog about my time at the 50 Cent Auction. Even more God appointed moments!