40 Years in America
Hope and Tears
The highlight of the summer workshops occurred on August 18, marking the fortieth day of the workshops. Seven different workshops had their closing banquet and graduation, including students, professors, parents and actionizers. The staff members were returning to America, leaving only a handful of staff to continue. The actionizers were going back to the cities to prepare for school. The fruit of their labor was to be officially presented to the Latvian Children’s Fund at the final Closing Banquet: a dedication, celebration, graduation and farewell party all in one.
An overwhelming sense of elation filled the hall. The forty days of the summer program had created a powerful condition, which had clearly been claimed by God. The actionizers crowded together on the stage, their enthusiastic songs and radiant faces framing the miraculous testimonies of their fundraising experiences, which were then shared publicly for the first time.
The parents and professors were astonished by the students, rising out of a heartless and cruel society to shine as brightly as stars in their generous actions. The Vice-President of the Latvian Children’s Fund, deeply moved, joined all the actionizers on the stage as she accepted 50,000 rubles, the largest donation they had ever received. With an impassioned voice, she congratulated the students for their bravery, citing them as examples for all youth and the hope for the future.
The evening passed in heartfelt sharing, songs and a celebration where the love of God tangibly filled the room, leaving every heart intoxicated with an indescribable joy. Hardly anyone escaped without shedding tears of emotion that evening.
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