I live an hour east of Toronto, Canada in a town of about 16,000 which is somewhat twinned to a town of 18,500. Between the two towns, not a lot happens, especially if we’re talking events of interest to the Christian community. So when World Vision offered to include our area on its recent “Couples Night Out” tour, it was an offer not to be refused. The event featured Christian author and humorist Phil Callaway who probably spoke for at least an hour, but could have gone longer without anyone noticing. And all for only $5 per couple.
Because Callaway is such a great communicator, the sponsoring local church decided to hold the event in a neutral auditorium, in this case the hotel next door; figuring that this would make it easier for people to invite “their non-churched friends” than having the event in a church building. I don’t know to what extent people bought into that concept, but the event sold out all 400 seats, and Phil’s spoken content was, in one spot, definitely evangelistic.
Then someone stepped up with an idea to go one better, and use the banquet facilities of the hotel to offer a selection of desserts; a big change from an intermission that would, at best, consist of drinking coffee in a chuch lobby. The dessert buffet was a gigantic and unexpected spread; even at 9:00 PM, I could have skipped dinner and simply waited for this.
It was a great evening, which also featured Jay Calder, who I can’t describe except to say that “classical guitarist” is too limiting to define what he does with the instrument.
But there was one catch. I mean, if you read this blog regularly, you knew there has to be a catch, right?
The intermission is the time for responding to the World Vision appeal for child sponsorships. That is the primary purpose of the evening. And the organizers were “disappointed” in the results at this particular event.
That’s because during the time we were supposed to be thinking about our response to the needs of hungry children, we were filling our stomachs with — among other things — chocolate dipped strawberries, bread pudding and banana crepes.
While I’m not a huge fan of the organization, I keep thinking that we went home full while World Vision came up empty.