Not Forgetting the offering

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I cried when I read my devotional today
Taken from this book:

This is my favorite devotional book out of many. What make it so special is the fact that it's written by missionaries from around the world who live the passionate, courageous life Jesus challenged all of us to live.

Written by Gaye in West Africa
"A poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." Mark 12:42-44
As my truck pulled up to the tiny church in a remote village, women began to gather. We soon filled the mud structure where it was dark inside. Logs lay in rows to provide seating on the dirt floor. Most all the women had babies tied to their back and had already hauled water and wood, cooked a meal and walked several kilometers to the church. I stood by the one window cut into the the mud wall to be able to read the Scriptures.

Three different languages were spoken, so I waited for my two interpreters as I thought through what to say next. As I gazed out the window, I could see ladies preparing our noon meal in a big black cooking pot. I finished my teaching and had just asked someone to ask God's blessing on the meal when a voice piped up: "We haven't given our offering!"
I stood there in tumult, trying to explain to God just how little these women had, as if He wasn't already aware. As each woman danced up to give her money, my heart broke. Then a woman poured coins, amounting to 20 cents, into my hand and asked me to make sure this money got to the right place.
God began to work in my heart, saying, I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I don't need their money. Their willingness to obey My commandments and joyfully share what little they have is the gift I seek. Do not rob them or me of this joy.
Lord, may I joyfully give what I have to You. Bless these women in West Africa who give sacrificially. Strengthen the missionaries who serve there so that they can give themselves to others who need you. Amen