This summer their oldest brother, Ben, will be joining us for about 2 and a half months. Ben is finishing up his junior year at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a school with a fantastic football team that has won many, many championships and is now poised for another dynasty. They also claim to have a very good engineering program, the very same program in which cousin Ben is completing his studies. (I guess we'll find out how good this program is when Ben comes to help us build the orphanage.) The point of the story is that last Sunday evening, the Stangl family hosted a fundraising concert for Restoring Hope Village in Omaha.
Part of the efforts of the evening were to assist Ben with the expense of his trip to South Africa this summer. The other part was to raise funds for the construction of an entire house for orphaned children. Ellie has been challenged by her dad to raise money for RHI over the coming months, and one way they plan to do that is through the musical talents God has given them and they have faithfully developed.
The concert is titled "Family Fun". With 11 kids + dad & mom, there was plenty of fun to be had. For the sake of my memory, we'll see if I can list all the names:
Scott - Patriarch
Theresa - Matriarch
Benjamin Clark (playing the guitar)
In the middle of the program Ellie & Zach showed some pictures and told some stories of their trip to South Africa. They then gave me the opportunity to share briefly about RHI. Then Ben came and explained his plans for the summer, and why in the world a young college-age man would give up his whole summer for something like this. It is exciting to us to see someone so clearly talented be willing to use his abilities not just to pursue his own pleasure, but to use them for something with eternal value. We are greatly anticipating Ben's trip this summer, not just because we'll be able to get to know him better, but because we will all be a part together of building God's work and spreading the message of eternal life.
The concert was obviously a success, as I can't imagine someone leaving without being encouraged. We received word from Ellie that the fundraising aspect was successful as well. Between Ben's trip and the House Project for RHI, they were able to receive almost $7,000.
A huge thank you to the Stangl family, to Scott & Theresa for their willingness to push their children to serve, and for the spirit exhibited by the kids. And especially to Ben & Ellie for accepting the challenges God lays before them and working faithfully for Him.