Monday, May 5, 2008

Luau on the Lawn!

Last weekend, we had our first Luau on the Lawn at church! For those of you who don't know, I'm volunteer staff at our church and have the joy of overseeing small groups and events. We have 3 large, outreach events each year and this is our spring event. We invite the whole community through postcard mailers and huge banners out front. These are such fun events for us. The fun thing is that we get to throw events that challenge the way people think of "church". We try to do everything with real quality and don't charge for anything. We also don't "preach" at people while they are there. The whole point of these events is to introduce people to our church and to normal Christians! The other fun thing is trying to figure out how many people to plan for. Our church is medium sized at 600 people, so we have NO clue how many people will show up at any of our events. I have the sweetest events team (Thanks Carrie, Donna, Shai, Shannon and Atwinda!) and we just pray and plan with no clue how things willt turn out. We now call God, "The One who Brings Them" b/c all we can do is pray, plan and wait to see what He does! This event was a HUGE sucess and a ton of fun to throw. . .Although I will say that I'm not as good at this anymore. . with 3 kids and 4 African campaigns. .I'm not as "on my game" as I used to be! Anyways, back to the luau. Atwinda just joined our team and they actually do this for a living. They own an events company and were able to LOAN us all of these fun decorations! Can you believe it? They also put us in contact with amazing talent that proviced the show for us! This is the first event that we've had a show at and it really brought things together. Everyone LOVED it! Especially the fire dancer! You usually pay $60 a person for a show like this! Here are some pics that others took for us! Thanks to everyone who helped to make this event a success! We couldn't have done it without you! Our final count was between 2,000-2,5000 people attending! Yeah! God did it again! My favorite moment of the night was when an 8 year old girl came running up to me (I'm not sure how she knew I was in charge), grabbed my hands and screamed, while jumping up and down ,"I love this church, I love this church"! AND, they've been to church the past 2 Sundays! That's what it's all about! Isn't this guy amazing?
Here is the food tent. . .this is the only thing we charge for. This year, the youth handled it and made money for their Costa Rica Missions trip! Thanks guys, you did a GREAT job!
This is just one entrance. . the other side is more decorated. We had greeters handing out leis at each entrance.
I thought this was a cool shot! The kids LOVED the Hawaiian themed bounce house / slide
Ok, I have MAD Hula Skills! well, not really! But, it was fun to try! PS Yes, this is my lappa from Liberia turned into a hula skirt for the night!
The kids doing the limbo!
They pulled up Pastor Jon and Pastor Dan on stage. . .at this point, I'm pretty much praying that the hula girls won't act sexually b/c come on, this is our pastor and I sure don't want complaints!

The Hula Show! They were AMAZING! They did 2 shows during the night.
Sweet Madeliene. . .isn't this a fun picture?!
Kids learning the hula. They loved this part!
Oh yeah. . I've got pictures!! These are available via email for any church member for ANY purpose! ha ha! I can't laugh too much b/c he has video of me too! I still need to get the video of this moment b/c we were all just dying! too funny!

These are the few pictures I have of my little ones for the night. Greg was out of town which made this a particularly tricky event to be in charge of! However, Grandma and Grandpa watched them through the afternoon, brought them to the Luau and then took them home to spend the night (this was particularly helpful since I didn't get home till after midnight!)

Isn't this a sweet picture?!
My mom (aka Nana) ran the photo booth for most of the time she was there. . .thanks Mom! Thankfully, a friend caught this sweet moment during her and Gracie!

Me and the Kiddos! Yes, I probably should have removed the radio and lanyard for the pics, but people were actually radioing me during this picture! It was a quick hug and pic and on to making sure things were running smoothly. Thankfully, my team was on top of things, b/c my two little ones were not loving me walking away all the time so I usually had one of them on my hip at all times!


Danielle said...

Wow! It looks like so much fun. I love the last pic of you and your all look so happy:)

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

The fire thrower was definitely my favorite part. Well, that and sensing the possible uncomfortableness when the guys were on stage.

Faith said...

That looks like a blast!

Missy said...

YAY! Finally. I want to go to your church. Actually, our current church does 3 very similar events as community outreach too, at Halloween, Easter and in the Spring. No fire dancers and hula girls though. Usually just puppets and our praise band.

Charity said...

Now that is fuN!! Looks like a bunch of work went into that-you are amazing!! You need to bottle that energy and sell it...


Johnson said...

Too cool!

Anonymous said...

WHat great ideas for drawing people to a church to see that Christians have fun too!
It looks like everyone had a great time!
You are AMAZING with 3 kids, 4 African projects and putting on a Luau for 3,000!
Go girl!
Julie L

RML said...

Looks like a lot of fun! Airfare is cheaper to Florida than Hawaii so let us know when you're doing another luau and we'll fly there instead.

steffany said...

those are amazing photos. I love the one of nana and Gracie. Her hair is growing

jaz said...

LOVE the pics of your Mom and Gracie. And I just can't tell you how much it blows me away--all that you do!! ...the kids, the volunteering, the missions projects. WOW.
Love ya!
-j ;0)