The recent CSC banquet was attended by almost 700 people in Minnesota. On the other side of the world, the staff and workers of CSC were also avid participants. We have a lot of investment in the CSC Annual Banquet. We contribute many hours in helping Matt and Jill prepare, taking pictures, shooting videos and offering suggestions concerning the program. Our workers know how important the banquet is and spend time praying for the event. Even the children of CSC are aware of the timing of the banquet and ask lots of questions about it. They love to see pictures of the banquet and watch the videos that are prepared for showing there.
The banquet started at 7:30 am on Sunday here in Cebu. but we were up and watching via Skype, thanks to Heidi Erickson who had her computer on their table near the stage at Bethel. We couldn't hear all that well, but it was great fun t0 watch what was going on and get a feel for the love and interest in that room. We are the second audience for the CSC banquet, 10,000 miles away, but very interested and engaged and excited to see what gets accomplished every year. We hold our breath when the banquet offering total is announced because we know first-hand how important that income is to the ministry and get to see every day how it is used for the needs of the children we care for here.
The term "stakeholder" is used a lot these days to describe people who have a financial, emotional or spiritual connection to a ministry or program. Certainly all of us in Cebu are stakeholders of the success of the banquet and all the fundraising and promotional efforts of our stateside ministry. But so are all the supporters and lovers of CSC. In that respect, there are many more than two audiences for the banquet. People all around the world are involved as donors and sponsors. In fact, people other than those attending in Minnesota participate in the offering by designating a gift to be included in the collection taken at the end of the banquet. They are excited to hear of the total, as are those who wait patiently at Bethel for the envelop to reach the emcees hands and be announced. It was $126,000!!
But the banquet is more than just an offering, and our stakeholders get to hear and see what is happening in Cebu. It is a night of fellowship, fun, laughter, tears and thanksgiving. One Minnesota attender said that there was "a lot of energy in the room" at Bethel. I know there was. And there was a lot of energy in the room across the world from Minnesota where we were gathered to watch and experience much of what was going on in that room full of CSC lovers, our fellow stakeholders of God's greatness.
Thanks to all who helped make this a great banquet and a blessing to us here in Cebu.