Sunday, November 1, 2015
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, 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 12:41-44 (New International Version)
When I was at Lifest in 2005, as they were handing out packets of children to be sponsored through Compassion International, I decided that it was time to sponsor a boy or girl in a third world country and I took the next packet which was given to me. Randomly. The child was a scared, thin young girl from India. She was the one who God had chosen for me. I had always been fascinated with India, and before getting all wrapped up in Kenya, that was the first third world country I thought I wanted to go to.
Shortly after returning from Kenya in May of 2013, I received a letter from Compassion explaining that I might lose my child in India and that they would keep me up to date. (It’s a long story which I won’t elaborate on here, but you have to realize, stuff happens.) A few months later, one Friday evening Compassion called to say that due to circumstances beyond their control, my little girl in India was out of the program. Did I want another girl from India to sponsor?
“Well, I just got back from Kenya, so could I sponsor a little girl from there instead?”
“Sure,” the woman answered. “Let me pull up a random girl from Kenya.” She came back on the line a moment later. “I have a little girl for you and believe it or not, her birthday is next week. What an amazing birthday present for her.”
Well, when I got done crying, I thanked the woman and told her I would wait to get the information on my new child. And when her picture arrived, she looked just as small and scared as the girl from India.
Two years later, as I began planning this trip to Africa, I contacted Compassion about going to see my child while I was there. A quite a few emails went back and forth, but the arrangements were made. At six o’clock in the morning on October 12, the Compassion representative who would be our guide for the day picked Denise and me up at our volunteer house. Five hours and many rough roads later, we arrived at the Compassion center which works with my child.
She is so beautiful. Beautiful beyond words, don’t you think? And more precious than anything.
Just like the widow who gave her two mites, they gave me everything they had – a gourd, a hand-made doily and four small chicken eggs. Nothing, no gift I have ever received has ever meant more to me, or ever will. Ever.
Then, to top that all off, we planted a tree to commemorate my visit (just as they did back in 2006). That was cool. A tree to grow and supply them with fruit and so that she can remember the day I came to meet her.
Then, her mom came over with THE most precious thing they have. Kenya has been going through a drought, but most places get at least a short rain shower every week or so. In this part of the country, though, they said that they hadn’t had a drop of rain in over a year. Not a drop. But yet her mom pours this clear, clean water out for me to wash my hands.
I have never been so humbled. I thought that I would give them something, but they gave me so much more.
Lord, God, Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing me to live a life of plenty and giving me the chance to share what I have, though my sacrifice is so insignificant. And please, Lord, let it rain in that part of the world so that this precious daughter of Yours and her family can have fresh water and so that their little tree grows. Amen