One of my favorite Bible passages is Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Just as Paul assured us nothing in this world or the next could separate us from the love of God, I knew nothing this year could throw at us would stop us from showering God’s love on people with special needs. Night to Shine was going to happen even if it had to look very different than last year.
Our virtual Night to Shine of 2021 was an amazing opportunity to let all our special guests know how much they are loved by our creator. We had an amazing group of volunteers, who helped us write encouraging personal messages on all our crowns, and put together an awesome backpack full of party favors for every guest.
We had 75 special guests this year, and Lena and I enjoyed delivering those gifts to the Cerebral Palsy Center, the Boy’s House orphanage and the school for the hearing impaired. Plus we delivered quite a few personally to people’s homes as well as mailed some to people who lived in other regions of Ukraine.
To make our event even more special, we asked many kids to send us videos of them showing their talent. We gathered our volunteers to record some camp sing along songs and made a fun video for all the kids to watch alongside the Official Night to Shine video from the Tim Tebow Foundation which included a virtual red carpet and speciall messages from Carrie Underwood, Charles Barkley, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Pacquiao, Thomas Rett, Bethany Hamiliton, Shawn Johnson and so many more.
On the evening of Friday February 12th, the kids dressed up, put on their crowns, and watched both videos and celebrated from home. Afterward, many joined us in a big online group chat, and it was a blast seeing everyone dressed up and hearing the kids share what they liked most, and compliment and encourage all those who showed their talents. Every kid was named a King or Queen of the ball, because that’s how God sees them each and every day. Take a look at all our royalty!
This was an amazing event and I am so thankful to God for blessing this event. I want to thank all our volunteers, especially Pastor Kostya and Church of Christ for sponsoring the event, and of course the Tim Tebow Foundation for leading the charge on this global event to have Valentine’s day not just be a celebration of love, but a celebration of God’s love for people with special needs. We cannot wait for next year, where we hope to have the biggest Night to Shine prom yet!! If you would like to support Joy 4 Ukraine to help us do ministries like Night to Shine, summer camps and so much more, please visit here for more information.
Lena and I will be speaking at quite a few congregations in the US during the month of March, we hope to see many of you.