It is just after midnight and I am in Melbourne. I arrived here this afternoon after a week in Sydney, and as you know, the week before I was in Perth. I want to share a short testimony to encourage you.
At the start of the year, I said I believe that the miracles this year will be done by ordinary people like each one of us. God wants to do great things through each one of us. Here are four stories that not only encouraged me but humbled me so much. The four stories are of ordinary people who believe in our dream and who said, “I can make a difference.”
The first story is of a lady from Perth. I met her the Monday after I spoke in her Church. She came to see me at the pastor’s house where I was staying.
She emigrated from Angola to Australia with her husband and eight children many years ago. Soon after they arrived her husband died. She could not even speak English and as a single mother, she struggled on day by day. She told me she wanted to give me something for the children in Africa. In her hand she held $160. It was all she had and she had probably saved that for a rainy day. You know, I didn’t want to take the money! I wanted to shout to her to keep it for herself but I could see in her eyes that this was an act of worship. It was incredible! I took the money and spoke to her about the widow’s copper coin. I told her that sometimes God looks at money like this and He multiplies it a million times! Maybe we do not consider enough where the money comes from! Can you imagine how important it is that we reach the children with that money?
The second story is about a young girl who came to visit us last year – still a teenager. After she went home, she spoke to everyone about us and started saving money and doing extra work. She is now supporting 13 ORPHANS!!!!! When I looked at the form she filled in, I was blown away. What a sacrifice! A teenager showing the world what can be done if you really care.
The third story is about a small group or home group I visited in Sydney. It is run by only a few Christians – maybe 4 or 5. They invite people off the street, I mean down and out people, for a feast every Monday. They treat them like kings and queens and give them a meal and then just share with them as they grow in their relationship. I was reminded of Isaiah 58! But here comes the crazy part. They told these people, who came off the street, about Hands and what we do. They then challenged them to bring $ every Monday, not to pay for the food, but to support a child in Africa. They have already raised nearly $1000!!! I shared with them about Africa and it was holy ground. I tell you, it was just amazing. Tears were flowing as we thought about the children. They knew pain and could relate so well. I was honoured and humbled to share the evening with these people.
I’ve know Argy for a while, a teacher. I went to speak at her school. Due to heavy traffic, we arrived late and I only had ten minutes! After I shared, we left the chapel to have coffee (of courseJ). The one teacher told us there were a few children who wanted to see me again and asked me to come back to the chapel. We went back. The chapel was packed. They just sat there! I cannot tell you what happened there but I know it was God working in the hearts of future leaders. Eventually, a few stood up and said to me, “we cannot just carry on with our school work. We must do something!” Again, to see God working in the hearts of such young people was just something.
Sitting here tonight typing these stories made me think. Are we getting used to it? Are we just doing a job now? I sometimes fear for us as a family. I look; I listen and I fear. What are we doing? What takes our time? When last did we do something as an individual? What is the name of the child you met this month? We are so privileged to do this work and yet it could just become a daily job. When last did we weep for the children? When I left the UK in January, I saw this picture in the newspaper. I carry it with me wherever I go. It was taken in Goma, DRC and I want to go and look for them. What I see on this picture is wrong! I hurt every time I look at it. It keeps my heart soft. How about you?