Friday, September 25, 2009

Chocolate for the Soul

There is a woman in a small church who attended a chocolate festival sponsored by a Methodist church in Norman, Okla.

That was two years ago.

She dreamed of doing the same in her church, and she convinced people. Now, I believe most humans seek a spritual part of their life. Some by hunting. Some by camping in nature. Some by praying in temples. Some by joining a church. She joined a church.

And she admits, the first thing that occurred to her was, this is a great way to earn some money to do some good. But then, the church supported a young woman who went to Africa to do good works. She worked with an orphanage. These kids felt lucky even to be alive, and the church came through with beds, mosquito netting, etc. They came to know the kids. It made it personal. So doing something for missions became a spiritual thing. Because doing something for others without any reward is exactly that. Oh, it can be just be a good thing, and feel good. But she saw more, and that's allowed. We can do good works and feel a God component. And so she did.

The festival is Saturday.

It is a church I belong to. The proceeds will go to missions around the world. We ignore the benefit churches contribute but I suspect they are greater than foreign aid. Church stuff goes directly to the people. And I think that is good.

So. This woman set up the festival for our church. She got T-shirts. She talked to us. She begged for volunteers to get vendors and sell tickets. She worked and worked. We didn't join in. I'm not a salesperson. I know that. I got her some newspaper publicity. Sure enough, that doesn't help much these days. This is a really nice church. But it doesn't have salespeople or promoters in the congregation. Really doesn't. No wonder it feels spiritual and not corporate.

But still.

She talked to us last Sunday. Her voice was ragged, her timber low. She talked about the journey of faith this has been. And it has been a tough journey. It has become not about money but about service. Took her awhile to get there. But she is there. She talked about the good this could do. And how far we were from success. She called an emergency meeting.

After church, I went over to my son's and played a game for an hour with my granddaughter and a friend. We had fun. Saw my other granddaughter brought in with a cut foot. She's doing well, but she won't be so quick to go barefoot again. Then I went to the meeting.

All women.

So, we set up things to do. There are old women making old recipes for bonbons--you young folk may not know what those are. They are trouble, and time consuming and oh man, they are good. Others making fudge. white-chocolate raspberry cheesecake. Regular fudge. Nutella gelato. Chocolate baklava....really? Chili-chocolate snacks. Fantasy fudge with real butter and walnuts. Brownies. chocolate mints. chocolate cream cheese mints. chocolate bread with tiger butter.Cherry fudge. more, more, more. And yeah, the guys are making some of it.

And we've tried to set up some publicity. That's what we need, and what we apparently are not good at.

In all, this little church has close to 5,000 samples of chocolate, all homemade. Tickets are 6 samples for $10, 12 samples for $20. Recipes for a dollar apiece. Soft drinks, water and milk available. Recipes, too, a dollar each.

All this work. I haven't baked. Instead, I've tried to be the gofer between folks facilitating communication and completed tasks.

Will people come? All that work. So many hours of work. Will people come?
They will be happy if they do. Delicious.

Will they come? We'll find out tomorrow. So many folk working. So many hours. So much yet to do. So much. This is a volunteer project. People have led with their hearts, their pride and their industry. It happens with every volunteer activity in the community. The folks putting them on always have a bigger vision than giving you some fun. Always.

Will people come?


Anonymous said...

Ok, I've googled it and come up with nothing. If you want me to come ur gonna have to post the when and where. bty, im n of big d and I will drive an hour for chocolate.


charlotte g said...

That will go into my notes for next year. We learned a lot. We put on a really good display. We had a lot of really good stuff. And it wasn't a disaster. We actually made some money for Habitat for Humanity, and several other groups. In retrospect, wish I had thought to advertise through my blog. :( Advertising is not my forte, either. We will regroup. Right now I suspect the organizer is so tired of chocolate her family will be lucky to get some for Christmas. Man, the food was good. My personal champion pick was the Nutella Gelato, followed by the beef mole. Came off Man. One person told me it was so good she could have spent 6 choices for a bowlful. The white chocolate raspberry cheesecake made me moan. Didn't try them all--must have been 30 choices in all. Have samples of the chocolate baklava and lime/chocolate cookies. Didn't try so many others, as good as they looked. I bought my 12 samples, and then tried a few others (burp).Visitors were pleased. Yup. We'll do it again. Better.

Steve said...

Just found you by way of wandering thoughts.

I belong to a Methodist Church in suburban Cincinnati. We have often asked those who are skilled at marketing to donate their talents to lend a hand with the promotion part.

Another idea is to join the festival with another church, and pool the collective talents.

Congrats on successfully raising money and learning in the process!!

Revelation 2:19 (KJV - I'm a geek that way).