Some of you called, others emailed, and some even pressed me in person to know the rest of the story I began last week. Your intrigue and excitement is well-placed. Read Part 1 to learn about how the dream of a completed new girls’ dormitory seemed very much in question. Here’s Part 2:
“Where are you in the funding of the new girls’ dormitory?”
That was the question asked me by a friend of the school early in 2013. I shared that we had raised $1.1 million toward the campaign funding goal of $1.4 million, but that the building itself would cost about $1.8 million. I told him about the overall $2.5 million Breaking New Ground Comprehensive Campaign and about our progress. He nodded, looked distantly away, and proceeded to share with me about how things were for him financially. “I’ve often wondered what my gift is,” he said. “Some people can teach, others can preach. I’ve finally decided that maybe my gift is that I know how to make money,” was the gist of what he said.
What he said next led me to believe that he was considering helping with this project, and maybe in a big way. He would have to talk with his wife and his financial adviser, and then he would get back with me.
I knew him well enough to know that no amount of cajoling or salesmanship would impact what he would do for this project. He does as he feels God is directing him. So I decided not to press for what I was dying to know: What is he thinking about doing?
I was rather certain that he would have only said what he did if he were considering a gift that would really move us forward in our Breaking New Ground funding goals. The imagination of what such a game-changing gift might do for Oakdale lifted my spirits!
Weeks passed. A month passed. Construction of the “empty shell” was underway. Meanwhile, we had started identifying key volunteer team leaders who would coordinate the electrical, plumbing, and sprinkling system installations, and I felt that soon we would need to know just how likely it was that we would be able to continue the construction of the dorm.
I found myself praying not just that such a gift would come, but that, no matter what, I could rest in faith that God would be glorified no matter what else were to happen with the Breaking New Ground campaign. It occurred to me at every turn that we really didn’t have to know this minute if we had money to continue construction. There were no contractors or suppliers or volunteers who were waiting on us to give a definitive answer… yet.
More time passed. I began to wonder if I had set myself up for disappointment. Had I allowed myself to believe that our Breaking New Ground goals might be met, when in fact they would not? Again these feelings of resignation returned, telling me that we may not be able to complete the new girls’ dormitory.
Meanwhile, admissions numbers for next year indicated full dorms and full overflow housing – beyond capacity, really. We could get by during fall semester with overcrowded student housing if we knew that by second semester a new dorm would be completed. But what if we can’t complete the dorm?
I can’t wait to tell you the rest. It’s a great ending and a new beginning.
Check back here next week for The Numbers.