March 31, 2014

We asked you for money. And this is what happened...

About a year and a half ago, we asked you for money.

You did what, Daddy?!

You oh-so-generously gave a little over $2,000. (Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.)

And with that $2,000, you contributed to a lot. You impacted many people, in many desperate situations:

A woman who was robbed and had a debt to pay,
(Her debt was covered)

An elderly man whose legs had grown so weak with disease he couldn’t walk anymore,
(He can walk again)

A girl who tore ligaments in her knee and couldn’t afford her medicine,
(Her medicine was purchased)

A friend’s daughter who has severe medical problems,
(She was able to see a specialist)

Boys who shine shoes in the park and can’t afford a lunch every day,
(They are fed pancakes on Fridays by our missionary friends)

A man who was threatened to have his land taken away before his last payment,
(His plot of land was paid for)

A man whose house was robbed and left empty,
(He bought a tabletop stove and blankets)

A man who had brain surgery and couldn’t afford his pain medication,
(The medication helped his headaches)

A woman who lives on the street and couldn’t afford medicine for her sick daughter,
(Her medicine was purchased)

A man whose nephew was hit by a car and couldn’t afford surgery,
(His surgery was performed)

A woman who couldn’t afford her rent and was going to be kicked out,
(She had another month in a warm bed)

A third grade boy who earned a scholarship but couldn’t afford his school supplies,
(His school supplies and uniform were provided for)

A man whose mother passed away and couldn’t afford her funeral,
(His mother was buried.)

And that’s not even everything.

Oh my, our friends and family are fantastic!

Yes of course, it’s Guatemala. $2,000 can go a very long way. But as I look through the list of people who were supported, the projects and people funded, I am amazed. Amazed to the point of wondering how the math even adds up. So many people. So many burdens lifted. So many grateful hearts.

So thank you. Thank you for choosing to give.

Not out of guilt. Not because you saw one of those terrible, sob-story Sarah-McLaughlan-puppy-commercials on TV to the back-tone of “In the arms of the angel.” (Because God loves a cheerful, guilt-free giver.)

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Not for a prize. Not because any of these people will ever be able pay you back or give you a trophy or will even know your name. (Because a giver does not expect to be repaid.)

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Not because you’re a millionaire. Not because you had to hide some of your extra cash overseas. (Because sometimes giving requires sacrifice.)

Sacrifice – to be real – must cost; we must empty ourselves of something we would rather keep. {Mother Teresa} said to a group of volunteers, “God takes care of His poor people through us…Remain as ‘empty’ as possible, so that God can fill you.”
- Mary Poplin, Finding Calcutta

Wow, true giving sounds hard.

But you chose to give anyway. You read the situations some of our friends were in, and you simply responded. Out of duty. Our Christian duty to give, to love, to share. Like a Hallmark “just to say hi” card. No agenda. No ulterior motives. Just because.

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I am not surprised. Not shocked at the outpouring of generosity that you showed to our friends here. But I am thankful. Thankful for your choice to give. Thankful for your willingness to be Christ’s vessel of love and generosity to the world.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

And I can’t help but hear the “Sunday School Teacher Song” running through my mind…

"Thank you, for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed. Thank you, for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave."

Grace and Peace,