By Alisa Stephenson
Director of Events and Partner Relations
Our annual fall-fundraising event has become a staple in the lives of faithful donors. This November’s event, “Inexpressible Joy,” was a bit different. Yes, it was a memory-making, fun-filled event designed to connect people with the mission and vision of the MJBI, but what made it even better was opening the event program up to the public through the generous sponsorships of KLTY radio, “Let the Lion Roar” and Schaefer Advertising. So many new people were able to hear, in a variety of unique ways, who MJBI is and what we do.
We were able to use the draw of the wildly popular TV series Duck Dynasty and other public names to bring those in who might not have ever come. The all-star lineup included Phil Robertson, Ms. Kay, Alan Robertson, comedian Dennis Swanberg, recording artist Matthew West, and comedian Mike Williams (who served as emcee). The crowd was laughing, never knowing what was coming next, from start to finish. Dennis Swanberg kept us rolling with his impressions of Billy Graham and John Wayne. Mike Williams had us taking “selfies” wearing cardboard cut-outs of Phil’s beard that ended up blowing up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for days after the event. Alan Robertson entertained us with dog images portraying his family members, Phil showed off his duck calling skills, and Ms. Kay even gave us a surprise visit. In the end Matthew West and his band had us singing and proclaiming we are a “Child of the One True King.”
There were, however, a few moments of serious contemplation, such as when Phil quoted passages of scripture and stunned the audience with his on-point message about our Jewish roots. Another one came when Matthew West ended the night with “Forgiveness,” a moving song/story about the power in forgiveness.
For those who attended, we hope that the special memories (and photos) you made have continued to warm your hearts. But most of all we hope that the work of MJBI around the world will continue in your heart—and prayers—for years to come.