“Table hosting is the most significant way we can be a part of the ministry,” says Keith Sunahara. Keith and his wife, Janice, have been table hosts at Breakthrough Urban Ministries’ Annual Benefit for the past five years. “Right now, our schedules and distance make it difficult for us to volunteer at one of the Centers. But hosting a table allows us to introduce new people to Breakthrough. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate.”
What about miracles?
Keith and Janice have attended the annual fundraiser for many years, even when they were held in the basement of First Evangelical Free Church. “We enjoy the process of inviting our friends,” says Keith. “It’s a relational way of introducing people to Breakthrough. They see our personal commitment and are more motivated to get involved.”
Keith adds, “Hosting tables is also our way of celebrating the participation of the seniors at Church of Christ Presbyterian, where we attend. The seniors serve lunch once a month to Breakthrough’s guests.”
Keith and Janice are largely responsible for encouraging others at their church to become involved. One year, they invited the senior volunteers to attend the Annual Benefit. “The first time they came, their eyes were really opened to how their service fit into the bigger picture,” says Keith. “They didn’t realize the breadth and scope of Breakthrough’s ministry. They thought they were just helping to serve a meal, but they were able to see how they are part of something much bigger and that God is using them to help heal lives through the love of Christ.”
Keith and Janice have been impacted by attending the Benefit, too. “Last year’s keynote speaker, Pastor Erwin McManus talked about the context for a miracle always being sacrifice. The definition of sacrifice is to forgo something valued for the sake of something having a more pressing claim,” remembers Keith. “Every year the miracles at Breakthrough have been the people whose lives have been transformed by Christ and people who listened to God’s calling to help those in need by sacrificing their time, talents, and treasure.”
Of the people they have invited to Benefits over the years, Keith and Janice know of several who now contribute financially to or volunteer at Breakthrough. “We see and feel the presence and blessing of God in Breakthrough’s ministry and consider it a privilege to be part of it,” says Keith.