A Winnipeg church has raised over a quarter of a million dollars for missions by auctioning off desserts.
The Church of the Rock recently raised over $275,000 through their annual pie auction.
Pastor, Mark Hughes said the annual pie auction has been a great fundraiser for the projects the church is involved in in the 10/40 window. Hughes explained the 10/40 window covers a section of the world, 10 degrees north by 40 degrees north throughout Asia and Africa.
Hughes said it is important to focus on this area of the world as "You have got 50 per cent of the world's population, 80 per cent of the poverty, and 93 per cent of the unreached people in the world."
This year the church focused on sponsoring the translation of the Bible into the languages of seven unreached people groups in the 10/40 window.
Hughes says the fundraiser "includes everyone at every level; the kids can buy cupcakes for one dollar; people in the congregation bake pies and then the church auctions these pies off to people who have the money to bid."
The cakes are sold at a buy-it-now table, and there is also a silent auction as well as a themed live auction. The theme is a barnyard auction and everyone dresses up to bid on these cakes which are sold at higher prices than they are worth.
Some pies have sold for up to $5,000-6,000. "Nobody is buying these desserts because they think they are worth $1,000 or $1,500. They are buying them because of their passion for missions."
Hughes also said this fundraiser has "taken on a life of its own, in that I don't think people would give that kind of money if there wasn't this little gimmick involved."
The first year the church held a pie auction they raised around 1200 dollars and this event has taken off since then. The fundraiser has grown exponentially as the church continues to find new ways to invest in the 10/40 window and stresses the importance of missions there.
Hughes told stories of how invested people are into this particular fundraiser. Hughes specifically mentioned one child that lives out of town and "grows pumpkins, he is 11-12 years old, he garage-sales everything in his house and he shows up with up to $9,000 every year."