Friday, July 30, 2010

July e-update: Haiti & the widow's mite

This month, Jared shares insights about the Haiti trip with us.

"As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth,' he said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others.'”         --Luke 21:1-3

The story of the “widow’s mite” is likely a familiar one to us. It is found in the 21st chapter of Luke’s Gospel, and also in the 12th chapter of Mark. It is a touching illustration of how God is pleased with true sacrifice, regardless of the world’s standards. Great, but what does that have to do with Haiti?

I think this story ties in very appropriately with the trip two students (Joe Morris and Nate Luke) and I took to the devastated Caribbean nation this July. To begin with, we saw a great deal of poverty, and people in difficult situations. In a country with upwards of 80% unemployment, there is need everywhere you look. It is possible to see the widow’s faith in many of the Haitian nationals who gathered with us for worship on Sunday, and placed their meager offerings in the plate that was passed.

As richly blessed Americans who are rarely found in true need, the environment was eye-opening for those of us on the trip. It is simply overwhelming to see people living in tent cities with no immediate relief in sight. What could we possibly do to help? What could we possibly do of any value?

This is where this story of the widow intersects our story. In leading basketball camps for young neighborhood boys, throwing a birthday party for children at the orphanage where we served, or helping to paint a newly constructed building, we were simply offering up what we had. It didn’t seem like much to us, but God has the great ability to take our seemingly meager offerings and do big things with them!

So when we saw a young boy’s face light up in joy at accomplishments on the basketball court, or witnessed 16 boys come forward to accept Jesus after the devotional on the last day of camp, we knew that God was indeed at work. Though our offerings seemed small, having the faith to give simply of what we have is often all that is required to be a conduit of God’s love and grace in big ways.

I pray that in whatever circumstances you find yourself, you may also be able to see God at work through your offerings. We are thankful for the ways you sacrificially offer support to this ministry, and that we all get the joy of watching together the big things God continues to do on this campus!


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