THAP’s Grand Finale
Sabbath morning I’m in church, just having settled into the spirit of worship and away from the busyness of church business back at home. This was the day the Cruz family was scheduled to be arriving in Houston, and I found myself leaving town to attend the Adventist Christian Fellowship event at Texas A&M. You’ll remember I blogged about this last year. It was more of the same good fellowship with young adults, but that’s not what I’m here to write about tonight.
So, back at church…my cell phone keeps vibrating and I finally give in and text a message back to find out what’s going on. I receive word via text that the Cruz family has not shown up. Immediately I have to break the 11th commandment by sending an additional text to Dorlly (Abel’s sister) to find out what’s going on. She sends a message back that says “bad news” some where in the middle of it, and that’s when I go on to break the 12th commandment by walking out of church in the middle of Pastor Cork’s sermon. Ouch (especially when I heard that he referenced me in his sermon and my seat was empty, and yes we traveled all the way to College Station just to hear our own pastor preach).
Abel’s dad wasn’t able to make it in from Mexico, and the remainder of the family was still in Corpus Christi. “WHY? God, really? Why?” I still don’t know why, but starting from Friday issues kept rolling in and I was getting sicker and sicker. Feeling a little faint on Thursday evening I went to bed, and woke up on Friday to a long day without food or water (unintentionally). Things were hectic, seriously hectic and now Abel’s dad wasn’t showing up? Houston International SDA Church (HISDA) had planned an entire service especially for the family and they missed it. The devil was acting up to very last minute.
Moving on, Kemi and I packed up and left our escape to College Station right after lunch. Back at HISDA in what seemed like no time we regrouped with Dwight & York. The plan was to meet the family that evening near the Galleria at this huge waterfall tower. Just pass 7PM we met the family and took nice evening stroll down Westheimer & Post Oak to meet up with other young adults. After several photographs we sang songs in English and Spanish, read some scripture, & prayed. The family was smiling and at peace. It was beautiful and the rushing water symbolic of the vibrant hope The He’s Abel Project has been throughout the course of this summer.
Saturday night preparations were made at the wonder Houston Club downtown, and then we returned on Sunday for the Grand Finale Benefit Dinner & Silent Auction. Well attended, this event was an upscale special evening to honor the Cruz family and celebrate the blessings God has bestowed upon all those involved in the project. So imagine climbing an elaborate staircase up to a traditional foyer and being greeted by beautiful warm smiles, flowers, and chocolate. Then you enter the Texas Room where the stage is set, crisp speakers play serenading music, every one is looking fabulous, and the candlelit dinner service is exquisite. That’s was us last night.
Our very own Selected Voices, Mark Williams, and Salvator Floridia performed musical selections. Pastor Gordon Jones swept the crowd with an invigorating keynote address. Flowers by Nino impressed us with a gorgeous $350 arrangement donated free of charge and later auctioned off. Our co-hosts, Kemi Ola & Art Villarreal kept us rolling in laughter all night. After special recognition was presented to key volunteers, we presented the family with all the bibles collected on Sabbath at church, and finally…a huge check for drum roll…$8,006.62. PRAISE GOD!
Mrs. Cruz spoke between tears and touched us all, even the cranky lady started balling. Then a huge surprise came, as Mr. Cruz appeared on the screen – LIVE broadcast. The power of the internet people! Dorlly translated her fathers words of appreciation and testimony as he reached us all the way from Reynosa, Mexico. This family is absolutely amazing and we were so blessed to help them. It was truly beautiful. An evening of fellowship, praise, and giving.
And so The He’s Abel Project went.
I could barely sleep from all the anticipation before the event, but tonight I’ll rest easy knowing that God asked us to do something – we did it, and He blessed it. Should an opportunity arise like this again, don’t pass it up. How could you watch something like this unfold from the sidelines? Get involved. Visit: www.hesabel.com, it’s not too late to give.