Thursday, October 18th was a night full of joy and the sounds of praise as more the 450 people gathered in the heart of the Ohio State University campus to celebrate the ministry of SPO Ohio. We in SPO were blessed to host this, our 8th Annual Benefit Banquet, with the theme of Everlasting Joy. It seemed such an appropriate focus as the joy of SPO was present through the Missionaries, Alumni, parents, students and Mission Partners gathered at the Ohio Union that night.
The night began as we heard from SPO Ohio Mission Director Andrew Kebe, sharing about SPO’s mission of evangelization through reaching students, calling them to greater holiness, forming them through life-changing communities and sending them forth to spread the Gospel message to others.
Following this presentation, the Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, Bishop of the Columbus Diocese, shared a special keynote address on Christian joy. Bishop Campbell spoke from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans saying “What can separate us from the Love of Christ?” sharing that our closeness to Christ makes us “a fundamentally blessed and happy people.” How true that sentiment is – and it was even more evident in the testimonies shared that evening.
Julie Gardner, SPO Household member and senior at OSU, and Brent Diller, SPO Mission Leader and OSU Alumnus, shared testimonies that evening, speaking to how their relationship with Christ has left them full of joy. Both spoke to the way in which the SPO community called them on to that personal relationship with Christ, and how their peers encourage them in their mission to spread the Gospel to all they meet on campus.
The night ended with a rousing chorus of “God of this City”, sung by the SPO Missionaries and the more than 40 Alumni in attendance. It was quite a moving sight, especially when our guests were asked to join in the song as well!
If you weren’t able to make it to the Banquet, or if you’d like to relive this amazing night, check out video of the night here. Thanks to all those who attended, SPO was blessed to reach our fundraising goal for the night, and spread the word about SPO to even more individuals in the Diocese.
A big, heartfelt THANK YOU to all who were able to attend! Thank you for sharing in our joy!
-Submitted by Sarah Deak, SPO Ohio Development Coordinator