I had an interesting conversation with my 19-year-old son via text yesterday. It was interesting because he was sitting just 2 people away from me. But the content of his “reply to my reply” really got me thinking.
He said, “What do you want for Father’s Day, Dad?” My heart-felt response was two-fold: “I want ALL of my children to love the LORD with ALL of their hearts, ALL of their minds, ALL of their souls and ALL of their strength. But for a practical gift, I’d like for you to take the money that you would spend on a Father’s Day gift ($5, $10, $20, etc) and sow that amount toward our upcoming ministry trip to India and Sri Lanka.
His reply stunned me a little, “How about a pat on the back, because I can’t give $2000.”
HUH??? I wondered how he would even think that I expected him to give us $2000 when he works part-time and goes to college…But his response got me to thinking about how we often do NOTHING because we feel like doing SOMETHING isn’t significant if we can’t go BIG.
This attitude is far from the truth, but isn’t this the way most of us believe? We say, “Well, if I win the lottery, I’ll give $$$$$$ to the LORD, but until then, my $ are too insignificant to make a difference. There is an example in the Bible about this mindset and Jesus’ response. You can find it in Luke 21 and in Mark 12. It is significant enough that TWO of the gospel accounts record it, as if Jesus is saying, “Pay attention to this, because I’m gonna tell it to you twice.” For those of you who don’t have a Bible handy, here is Mark’s account:
“Sitting across from the offering box, He was observing how the crowd tossed money in the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins — a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford — she gave her all.” (Mark 12:41-44, The Message, italics mine)
And so I replied to him, “Jake, how do you eat an elephant?
Answer: You eat an elephant one bite at a time“.
This trip to South Asia is ambitious, possible more ambitious than anything we’ve done to date. Carrla is making her first trip to India with me (WOO!), and we believe the Lord would like us to bless several ministries.
- There is a pastor’s wife who needs a washing machine as she has chronic joint pain and does the family and neighbors laundry by hand with a simple washboard. $350
- We are needing two small netbooks (or equivalent) to bless two ministry leaders. $600
- Carrla is hoping to spend time teaching in the school in Yelahanka. $95
- We are planning to go into the deep parts of India and hold meetings there. $600
- We believe we are to fly to Sri Lanka with a dear friend from ProVision India and develop a plan to aid pastors with a microenterprise program so they, like the Apostle Paul, will have the means to generate income. $705 (for 3 r/t)
- Carrla returns home on July 28th. I will remain in South Asia for an extended period of time.
With a budget shortfall of more than $2000 ($2350 to be exact), a $200 partnering donation that we received later this morning is a pretty significant bite off the elephant. Over the next 4 weeks we need either:
- 117 people sowing $20 investments, or
- 58 people joining us with $40, or
- 23 people sowing $100, or
- 2 people sowing $1175, or
- a single sower of $2350 or
- any combination thereof.
When God’s people perceive a need and do whatever their part is, the elephant can be eaten pretty quickly.
Carrla and I are believing that each person reading this will ask the Holy Spirit how they are supposed to join us in this venture of Faith. All are called; some to sow, and some to go. Which are you?