A long, long time ago, a little boy brought his lunch to a crowd gathering to hear Jesus. Some bread, some fish, just enough for him. Someone had loved him enough to provide him lunch that day, only to have Jesus ask him to give all he had, to give wholeheartedly, with joy, and with love... and because he loved Jesus, he gave all he had.
When a gift is given in such a way, God loves to stretch it and make it grow in order to bless others beyond measure.
Last summer, a friend of mine was preparing for her mother to move in with her. She needed help to clean the downstairs apartment in her home.
She considered hiring a cleaning service -- $200 for 3 hours.
What she chose instead changed the life of three families in Africa.
Her plan was motivated by love. She offered me the job because she knew I'd use the extra funds to provide a family gift to at least one of our Compassion children. This way, she could have the help she needed, AND make a difference in the lives of children.
As His servant, I will do anything He asks for these Compassion children, even if that means scrubbing toilets. That's what love does!
We had some decisions to make. We had already sent a family gift to Lizbeth in Bolivia, as well as Suwanna in Thailand. We had visited Bessy in Honduras and brought them gifts in person. Who would we bless this time? I talked it over with my husband, and we decided that these funds would best serve the three Compassion children we have in Africa. It doesn't take much to make a difference in Africa, and this way, three families would benefit.
In August, after having prayed over this blessing, I called Compassion's office. With one simple phone call, I explained that God had provided us an opportunity to provide above and beyond our sponsorship for these families, and that I wished to send our three African children a family gift.
I threw in an extra $50, and gave the following:
$75 to Noah in Kenya
$75 to Novet in Uganda
$100 to Ato Sam in Ghana.
I prayed that God would stretch these funds and bless these families beyond what I gave them.
God didn't disappoint -- He never does.
We received a letter from Noah yesterday, our first since he received the gift in September. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to learn...
God multiplied it, and then some.
God provided them with:
That's when I knew, and that's when the tears began. Was it possible? $75?
God took what could have been a simple, meager $75, and provided Noah's family with all that was necessary for them to build a semi-permanent house, so that they would no longer live in a temporary shelter.
And, as Noah adds, "He also bought rice, beans, and biscuits, and he says God bless you SO much."
I am overwhelmed with how great God is.
I did not give of myself, I simply gave of Jesus, who simply asks us all to love, feed and take care of His sheep. This isn't the house that my friend built, or that I built, or that Noah's family built...
This is the house that LOVE built. The house the love of Jesus built.
I look forward to seeing what God has provided for Novet and Ato Sam!