IFI’s Year-End Matching Grant: ‘Dark Days’ or ‘Great Days’?

Every year, along with the celebration of Christmas and the New Year, comes year-end fundraising appeals. A lot of them. Just when our family expenses rise due to the holidays, worthy organizations like the Illinois Family Institute make one last request to faithful supporters.

In recent letters and emails, IFI has made its case for your continued generous financial help. A person would have to live in a cave cutoff from civilization to not know the battle that is afoot when it comes to our culture, and that is the battle in which IFI is engaged.

Understandably, it would be easy to get weary — not just with fundraising pitches — but with the cultural fight itself. But we have a duty to future generations to stay engaged in the struggle however we can.

Paul reminds us that truth is eternal, extending from the past to our present times and into the future:

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Just as Scripture encourages, so too can historic events. As we close one year and begin the next, we find ourselves in a time that can be discouraging or encouraging, depending on which facts we choose to dwell on.

Two critically acclaimed films from 2017, Dunkirk and Darkest Hour,” dramatized a period that never seems to be emptied of its ability to inspire: World War II.

Dunkirk tells the amazing story of the evacuation of over 330,000 troops from the northern shores of France in late May and early June 1940. It wasn’t an allied victory, but those soldiers, who had been surrounded by a much larger enemy force, lived to fight another day. It was during this time that Hitler’s Germany was solidifying its domination of the European continent.

Darkest Hour is also about events that occurred in May and June 1940, focusing on the new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who was assuming office. Britain was faced with a terrible decision: whether to sue for peace with Nazi Germany or to “never surrender.”

Churchill expert Michael Bishop, Executive Director of International Churchill Society, recently noted that May and June 1940 was “the most important moment in Churchill’s life and career and the most important historical turning point of the 20th century.” It was, Bishop argued, “the moment when Hitler could have won the war.”

Three of Churchill’s most famous speeches from that May and June are worth reading (here, here and here).

In a speech almost a year and a half later, Churchill was still at work encouraging his countrymen. He visited Harrow, a private school for boys where they welcomed him by adding this verse to a traditional school song:

Not less we praise in darker days
The leader of our nation,
And Churchill’s name shall win acclaim
From each new generation.
For you have power in danger’s hour
Our freedom to defend, Sir!
Though long the fight we know that right
Will triumph in the end, Sir!

Churchill commented:

You sang here a verse of a School Song: you sang that extra verse written in my honour, which I was very greatly complimented by and which you have repeated today. But there is one word in it I want to alter — I wanted to do so last year, but I did not venture to. It is the line: “Not less we praise in darker days.”

I have obtained the Head Master’s permission to alter darker to sterner. “Not less we praise in sterner days.”

Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days — the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.

The Illinois Family Institute is obviously not engaged in a world-wide conflagration as portrayed in these two films. Yet we all know that evil takes many forms, and we are called as Christians to be salt and light in a fallen world. IFI cannot succeed in its mission to “boldly bring biblical perspectives to public policy” in Illinois without your help.

Thankfully, some generous donors are offering an end-of-year matching challenge of $80,000 to support us as we prepare to fight in the sterner days of 2018. We are eager to engage in the battle and are eager to champion our pro-family, pro-faith, pro-freedom and pro-life Christian values throughout the state and to everyone who has ears to hear and eyes to see. 

With just three days left in the 2017, I am happy to report that we have raised 50 percent of our goal.

We still must raise another $40,000 if we hope to meet this challenge.

Please don’t miss this opportunity to get in on it and double the impact of your giving!

Please consider a financial contribution to help IFI meet its year-end matching challenge, which expires at midnight on December 31st.

Please DONATE ONLINE or call the IFI office
at (708) 781-9328 to support our work.

You can also send a gift to:

Illinois Family Institute
P.O. Box 876
Tinley Park, IL  60477

Thank you for your support!