It was Christmas, forty years ago.
A young couple in our church decided that instead of buying Christmas presents for each other, they would give $500 to a local pastor to take with him to India on a short term missions trip.
That local pastor (who happened to speak at our church last Sunday morning), gave the check to an Indian man just starting out in ministry; he in turn, used the money to build a thatched roof church for his congregation of seven people.
Yesterday, Steve met with a dozen local pastors, including the pastor who had taken that check to India forty years ago. Joining their gathering—well, actually, the reason for their gathering--was the same pastor of that 7-member, thatched roof church who is in America for a brief visit.
This man still lives in India. He still pastors that same church.
But a few things have changed over forty years.
That church of seven has now grown to a church of 40,000. In addition, that pastor is in charge of all 35,000 Assemblies of God churches in his country.
Steve was incredibly inspired by the opportunity to spend several hours with a Christian leader of that caliber; the event had a strong impact on him.
I, on the other hand, was inspired to think that an unselfish gift given forty years ago could be so instrumental in starting a church that has become a place of hope for thousands of people in need.
I love to see where generosity’s journeys end up.
And Speaking Of Inspiration . . .
I was also inspired by something I saw in our kitchen just recently. I’ve seen these particular items a million times before, since they make an appearance just about every morning. But for some reason, this time I stopped long enough to really look at them.
And I stopped long to be really thankful for a husband who starts his day with Bible reading.
And do you see those two kids in that drawing on the wall?
They are the blessed recipients of the guidance and nurturing of a godly and loving Dad who wouldn’t be the kind of man he is without his strong faith and his dedication.
Some gifts are given at Christmas and are used to build small churches in India. Other gifts are given every morning and are used to build the lives of children.
In a world that seems so hopeless and out of control, there are still many gifts to be given. There is still peace to be found. There is still hope waiting to inhabit the corners of our hearts.
We just need to remind ourselves sometimes, of the gifts and of the goodness that are still everywhere around us.