Holy Spirit Fuels UCA Igniting the World Campaign

Upper Columbia Academy has a passionate, determined alum who has been working alongside UCA administrators for more than three decades, ever articulating a vision for excellence and giving strong support. At the recent alumni weekend held on Oct. 15, 2022, this long-time friend offered an $800,000 challenge. If alumni and friends gave $800,000 to the Igniting the World campaign by January 31, she promised to match each gift, dollar for dollar.

The news of the matching challenge filled the Igniting the World fundraising team with both excitement and terror. How would they ever raise $800,000 in just three months? The previous nine months, they had worked their fingers to the bone and only raised $400,000. This was clearly a God-sized challenge. The team dropped to their knees, begging God to show them the right moves to make.

They began promoting the matching challenge via email and Facebook. Then, in December 2022, the Igniting the World staff sent out a direct mail appeal about the matching challenge. God used those simple communications to touch hearts.

Alumni, parents, grandparents and church members began pulling out their checkbooks and credit cards. Letters and gifts arrived almost every day. There was one young lady who had no connection whatsoever to UCA, who even felt impressed to give. When asked why she donated, she said, “Because a friend of mine told me that God is on the move in Upper Columbia Conference, and I just want to be part of His work!”

For three months, the fundraising team was busy entering data, printing receipts and signing thank you letters. They receipted hundreds of $10 to $100 gifts; many, many $100 to $500 gifts; dozens of $1,000 to $5,000 gifts; a few five-figure gifts; and one six-figure gift. As the team worked, they often sent up praises to God, for they realized that this activity was not of their making. By mid-January — even before the end of the matching period — the full $800,000 had been raised.

The matching challenge donor was ecstatic! “God has been my business partner for the last 40 years. I love partnering with Him!” she said. “This experience affirms not only that there is tremendous community support for our academies, but it tells us how God feels about our academies — they are an essential part of His work here on earth.”

The Igniting the World campaign, which will continue until Dec. 31, 2024, is all about excellence and sustainability for Upper Columbia Academy. For more information or to join the joyful givers who have already given in support of this $15 million campaign, go to ignitingtheworlduca.org.

Featured in: May/June 2023