On Fridays we feature a giving story. The purposes of these giving stories is to challenge you, encourage you, or just to warm your heart. If you want to submit a giving story, click here.
Today we have two giving stories. The first is by an MH4C reader, JJ.
One evening I was driving home from work after having gone grocery shopping. I got to an intersection that without fail has at least one homeless person asking for food. This evening was no different. As soon as I got to the corner and saw him, the Spirit began to convict me. Here I was with a car full of groceries, mere feet away from a man who had nothing.
I was in a hurry to get home because I wanted to talk to my fiancée, who lived in Paraguay at the time, and she was two hours ahead and was going to go to bed soon. At each stop light, the Lord pressed me harder. How could I pray at meals that God would provide for those in need when the vehicle for his provision kept driving away?
I can’t even remember what I was arguing to rationalize my way out of offering. That’s how insignificant my excuses were.
I got about a mile away when I realized that if I went home I would not be able to sleep and I would eat dinner in guilt, having disobeyed the extremely clear voice of my Father. Finally I turned the car around and headed back towards the corner.
I parked the car and approached the man. I told him I had some groceries in the car, and I could make him a sandwich if he wanted one. I will never forget his reaction. He said, "I don’t have any teeth," and then smiled at me with this beautiful smile that makes me chuckle every time I imagine it. "Fine," I said, "I’m sure I still have some stuff for you."
I returned to my new friend with some soup, strawberries, bananas, and some other things he could eat with the few teeth he had. While I was talking to him a car pulled up, and a hand holding a beer popped out.
He looked at it for a second, to see what it was, and said "No thanks, I don’t want any of that stuff."
We talked for several minutes. I went home feeling very blessed, praising God for His provisions for me, and thanking Him for using me – convincing me – to provide for someone in need. This began a change that God has been working in my heart since.
I would encourage each reader to think creatively about ways we can be used by God to provide for the less fortunate. For example, one idea that the Spirit gave me was to keep a grocery bag stocked with healthy, non-perishable food and keep it in my car. Things like soup cans with pull tabs, granola bars, nuts, maybe even canned veggies and fruit. That way when the Lord leads me to someone in need, I’m already prepared to meet that need.
Ask God for ways to make you more generous, and I promise He will. I’m sure everyone reading would love to hear some of those things you come up with! I definitely would.
Our second giving story is by MH4C reader, JL.
For many years, my wife and I would respond generously to any request for funds by kids and adults at church wanting to go on a mission trip. We have helped folks go to Europe, Kosova, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Hurricane Katrina and many others. Always believing that if you can’t go yourself the we are called by God to send others.
Each time we were also believing that our youngest daughter would someday go out on mission trips and the funds to do so would always be there. Our friend who runs a wonderful orphanage in Haiti asked my daughter if she wanted to come there during her spring break.
God has supplied not only the $1100 needed to travel there, but He has added almost $1300 to our supply monies to buy the kids tons of clothes. We were even blessed with a businessman who is willing to ship anything we want to Haiti.
God is so faithful.
Have a blessed weekend.