A few years ago we rolled out our Passion Project idea. Simple – if you are passionate about something, turn it into a way to fundraise for YoungLives. If you’re running in a marathon – why not get sponsors, and have the monies go toward sponsoring teen moms & babies for Summer Camp? An essential oils gathering – great…how about raising funds for Club Nights. Hairstylist? – fabulous! Perhaps you can host a ‘cut-a-thon’ for a couple hours and donate the earnings towards Parenting Classes. You get the idea.
But then, along comes Mike Nelson, a passionate golfer. He proposed to put on a golf tournament benefitting North OC YoungLives. A whole, entire GOLF TOURNAMENT! We think – WOW, that sounds amazing! (honestly, I thought – Mike, you’re crazy, that’s so BIG!) With the Lord walking alongside him as he figured it all out, prayed into it, and gathered volunteers, Mike passionately and successfully pulled off the 1st Annual North OC YoungLives Golf Tourney. Well over 100 golfers participated. There were prizes, lunch, dinner, silent auction, raffle prizes. A sweet testimony by one of the teen moms capped off the evening. Money was raised for Summer Camp and immediately (running off adrenaline I’m sure!), Mike reserved the golf course for 2017. And once again, with prayer and a lot of hard work – another successful event took place and a sweet gift given toward the Summer Camp fund. You can probably guess…Mike booked the course again for 2018.
And so here we are, reminiscing about the 3rd Annual Golf Tourney that took place August 1st. This one came with a few unexpected obstacles – several less golfers had signed up due to vacations and work obligations and just days before the tournament, Mike ended up in the hospital with an extreme case of vertigo. Of course, we all prayed relentlessly for Mike’s speedy and full recovery. We prayed for ourselves too because we didn’t know how to pull off Mike’s passion project without his passion! Most of us that volunteer for the tournament day don’t even play golf! Collectively, we prayed for the best, reminding each other that this was the Lord’s tournament. Thankfully Mike was released from the hospital, rested at home a few days and his sweet wife Chris began running with his directives.
Tournament day arrived and though there were less golfers, they were not lacking excitement! For many of them, this was the third time they had played for YoungLives. They were ready for all the day had in store – goodie bags, a box lunch, 18 holes of golf, several ‘extras’ at the holes including root beer floats, professional shoulder massages, a chance to win a brand new truck, ice cold drinks, and prizes. The golfers were treated to a delicious pasta dinner, winning trophies, silent auction, raffle prizes, and a chance to hear how they are impacting local teen moms, teen dads, and their children. Area Director, Myrna Bittar shared the YoungLives mission and introduced a precious teen mom named Diana who articulately shared the ways that YoungLives has changed her life and the life of her little girl. A teen mom standing in front of 80 golfers (the majority of them men) who quietly, intently listened – isn’t that amazing?!
Though he didn’t feel 100%, Mike was not only at the tournament, he worked so hard making sure everything ran smoothly, and guess what?!!!! The most successful golf tournament to date! Isn’t that just like the Lord?!!!
Colleen Drew, Area Office Admin