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Be Part of Night to Shine!
by Ronne Rock
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2018
The Orphan Outreach mission team gathered in the empty ballroom in Guatemala City and listened intently as the vision was cast for what the room would become in just a few short hours.

“On this side, there will be a stage where the DJ will be,” shared Alfredo Salazar, Director of the Guatemala Down Syndrome Association, smiling. “And there will be tables everywhere, each decorated with ribbons and balloons. Oh, and every kid will receive a crown. Not one will be left out. Let me show you what will happen outside now!”

Alfredo took the team to a covered patio and private courtyard. “Our guests of honor will be treated like royalty. The girls will have their hair and makeup done, and the boys will get a shoeshine. Then they will walk the red carpet, and there will be so many photographers! It’s going to be like Hollywood!”

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His enthusiasm was contagious, and within minutes the mission team set to work, blowing up balloons, filling swag bags, and building a special “candy bar” that would be a treat for kids and adults alike.

Alfredo cheered as the dream became reality.

“This truly will be a night to shine!” 

On February 9, 2018, close to 100 teens and adults with special needs attended Guatemala’s first-ever Night to Shine. Dressed in prom night finery, the guests and their volunteer dates from both Guatemala and the United States danced the night away at the special prom presented by the Tim Tebow Foundation.

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Night to Shine is an extraordinary prom night experience for both teens and adults with special needs. Churches from around the world gather to host Night to Shine annually on the Friday prior to Valentine’s Day. In 2018, more than 530 churches in 16 countries honored 90,000 guests with the support of 175,000 volunteers. Night to Shine 2019 is slated for February 8th, and Orphan Outreach mission team members will be there—helping first with set-up and then dressing up to become prom dates for the students of the Down Syndrome School.

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“The impact Night to Shine has on not only the honorees but the community at large is powerful,” shares Katherine Cheng, Director of Programs—Missions and Latin America.“It’s truly an opportunity for churches to shine, for volunteers to serve, and for people with special needs to be celebrated. We’re honored to be involved in Guatemala, and it’s our prayer that more cities in the United States and in the countries we serve will join the celebration. Certainly Night to Shine is a fun evening—but it’s so much more. Every prom sets the stage for God’s love to be demonstrated and awareness to be raised about the needs of amazing kids and adults around the world.”

Night to Shine creator, Tim Tebow, says the event is not just a single night of celebration. “Honestly it is not just one night of their life where they get to dance, have fun, ride in limos and walk down red carpets. It is so much more because maybe for the first time they realize they are special. They realize they are loved. There is not much more important than that. And at the end of the night when they are crowned king or queen of the prom, hopefully they leave realizing that the God of this universe loves them so much and has a special, unique plan and purpose for their life.” In 2019, the Tim Tebow Foundation is praying for 200 more churches to say "yes" to Night to Shine."

Orphan Outreach invites your church to host a 2019 Night to Shine celebration. Learn more and register here! Then be sure to let us know—we’d love to celebrate with you!


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