Hi! I’m Emily Hardy. Last year our Illinois District Student Ministries Director, Eric Hoffman, and his wife, Liz, visited our church in Industry, Illinois. Eric shared with the adults of our church his vision to see Illinois raise $1,000,000 for BGMC and Speed the Light in 2016 through a movement tagged “#1-in-10,000.” His vision was simple—to see 10,000 people give $100 each. He knew what God could do; he had successfully headed the “#1-in-5,000” campaign the year before.
While Eric was sharing his vision with the adults, Eric's wife Liz told a story in children’s church about how their daughter Emma had set a goal to raise money for BGMC. Her vision, like her father’s, was simple. Emma had asked people to pay her to smash eggs on her dad’s head and videotape it for the entire world to see on the Internet. I thought: If she can do that, surely I can come up with an idea to raise money for BGMC too. I originally set a goal of $1,000 for the year. I started raising money in May 2016 by helping my grandpa, who's a handyman.
My Pastor, Jon Keck, made an announcement in Sunday morning church about my $1,000 goal and asked people to pray for me. After that announcement a gentleman in our church approached me and said, “Hey, you play the piano, right? What if I paid you $200 to play the next four Sundays in church during the offering?"
From there, everything just kind of snowballed. Ideas and suggestions kept coming from people of things I could do to raise more money for BGMC. By June I had already raised $1,200! One night during Kids’ Camp, Eric Hoffman told my story to all the campers and asked that they pray for me. I was humbled that evening by all the kind words of other kids from across the state.
At this point, I had already surpassed my $1,000 goal, but I didn’t want to stop. I couldn’t help but remember the story and video that Reverend Jay Risner had shared with our church a year back on the outreach program in Kenya called Joyland. I remembered how he shared that Joyland provided a home for disabled children, and how Joyland, through the money raised by BGMC, was finally able to dig a well, and have running water and a therapy pool for the first time in more than 15 years!
I knew there was still a lot of work to be done around the world, and that there was no reason to stop raising money. By the end of 2016, God had “funneled” over $4,500 through me for BGMC!
For 2017 I'm shooting for $10,000! I know what you’re thinking: That's a lot of money! I had the same thought, but through God we know all things are possible.