I just got home a few hours ago from CA. I am overwhelmed, yet again!!! God is so amazing. This event was so wonderful.
Our journey started when we got a direct non stop flight to LA Friday night. Jerry got the window, I was in the middle and since I was going to be sitting next to this other man, and I mean close, for the next 5 hours, I started a conversation with him. "Hello, it looks like we are going to be neighbors for a while, welcome to the neighborhood. My name is Eileen." I was working on my testimony for the Kolfe dinner so I had prints of my blog, copies of emails from Solomon, photos, etc. Jerry had his laptop up working on the PowerPoint presentation. We exchanged conversations as to why we were going to LA and I began to share with Lu, (my new neighbor) about Kolfe and our miraculous adoption story. After several hours of talking, sharing and reading my blog entry and the emails from Solomon, he said, "This is an amazing story! I have to do something! I know I am supposed to do something now. I believe this is a divine appointment. This is the best plane ride I have ever experienced." He stood up and got his computer from the overhead and began to download our info from Jerry's computer. He was so excited and was genuinely moved by our story. Are you ready???? It just so happens that he is a producer of documentary films. He is from NC but now lives in Hollywood. He offered to help us with the PowerPoint and then said he was going to come to the fundraiser on Sunday and film it. He also wants to film the rest of our story on how we got to Kolfe, the whole miraculous story!! So, we spent the next day communicating via email and phone and then HE SHOWED UP TO FILM THE EVENT! (For FREE) He was amazing. LU filmed the entire event yesterday. This whole evening couldn't have gone any better. And now are you ready for another one??? He just called a few hours ago to tell us that at this very moment he and his partner are working on the final proof. His partner is personal friends with the producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show and he is going to submit it to him this week to be considered for her show. DO YOU SEE GOD??? IS THIS AMAZING???
The restaurant was beautiful and the food was great. Each guest received a gift which was made by my brothers-in-law, Jeff and Jim. It was a cd (recorded by Jim) of Jaclyn's amazing performance and the cover of the cd (produced by Jeff)is comprised of artwork and photos of the Kolfe boys. It is absolutely beautiful! I'll have Ellie get a photo and post it here later. Jerry opened the evening with welcoming our 74 guests, giving a biography of our family and asking "DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?" I then shared our miraculous testimony of adoption that led us to Kolfe, followed by the PowerPoint presentation of "THE FORGOTTEN BOYS OF KOLFE ORPHANAGE". It was quite obvious that everyone in the audience was very touched and engaged in our presentation. Jerry followed with the closing and two questions "WHAT NOW?" What will you do with your relationship with God? How will you give him control of your life? And, what will you do for the Forgotten Boys of KOLFE? My niece Jaclyn then performed the most beautiful Opera concert that literally brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. During intermission of her concert, we auctioned off a beautiful hand painted purse that was made and donated by Jaclyn's stepmother and father. The purse was so beautiful it brought $400. Then two of the other bidders were surprised when Maria announced that Maggie would make two more so they too could get one at their earlier bid of $300 each. So, the purses brought us an additional $1000 donation.
Then a friend of Maria, Yossi, who could not attend, promised to match the highest donation we received at the dinner. Thanks to Jerry's brother Lloyd, that was $1700 which Maria is delivering today to pick up the matched donation. This friend Yossi also told her if she wanted to have another fundraising event in Beverly Hills, he will bring a minimum of 100 people. He is a very well known jeweler there. If any of you saw the movie Spanglish with Adam Sadler, Yossi owns the house on the beach where this movie was filmed. He is a very generous man and he is willing to help us.
Several of the attendees approached us and said they were going to talk to other people, friends, coworkers, business associates and get us more donations. Just today they got an additional $1000 from people that didn't even attend. Several people gave an additional donation after our testimony as well. They had all given one before we started and were moved to give another one. Mind you, this event has taken place at such a hard time of the year. Christmas was only a few weeks away and many people give their donation budgets in December. It was so beautiful to see the generosity of these people. I don't have a final count yet but as soon as we get one I'll post it. The LORD was present in this place and was obviously at work.
Thank you to those of you who prayed for this fundraiser. Thank you to those who attended! Thank you to those of you who have been sending donations to Gladney. I got an email from Ryan today that said money has suddenly been coming in for Kolfe. Here it is:
Just wanted to let you know I took 9 of the guys from Kolfe to Mercato on Saturday and we got shoes and jeans for 22 of the younger guys with the money you and 2 other families left. We had enough left to buy a large piece of carpet for the library and fruit for all the guys for Christmas.
A lot of money has come in the the last few day just for Kolfe, so we will be able to start some of the renovations very soon. God is starting to work very quickly! :)
Peace and merry Ethiopian Christmas.
So, stay tuned to our journey. I believe we have just begun to see what God has planned for "THE FORGOTTEN BOYS OF KOLFE". To HIM BE ALL THE GLORY, HONOR, AND PRAISE!! AMEN
Please pray for Jerry who is still in CA on business.