by Pastor Leo Launio
How to turn your $5 to $10 and your 2 boxes of canned goods to 4? Let me share with you my short experience.
As a student at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, many years ago, my family and I relied on the generosity of relatives and friends. Without sponsorship, my mother-in-law worked two jobs to pay our apartment rent. My wife looked after the children of my classmates for $1.50 an hour. And on several occasions, she found herself lining up beside our apartment building to get vegetables and bread that were ready to be disposed.
To pay for my tuition, I was allowed to work 20 hours a week for $5 an hour. Seventy percent of what I earned went directly to my tuition. But many times I worked under hours due to class assignments, etc. On average, I received a check of $10 to $20 every two weeks as my salary.
One Sabbath morning at church, there was a promotion about mission offering. Touched by the desire to help, I took my wallet and gave the only cash I had and the equivalent of my two weeks salary – $5.
Since it was a thanksgiving weekend, before the end of the worship service, another announcement was made that encouraged church members to bring non-perishable food to be donated to the needy students after our thanksgiving worship and fellowship the following day.
Heeding the call, we collected two boxes of canned goods from our food storage and brought them to the church the following day. After the church worship and fellowship, we were about to leave when one of the church elders summoned us to take two boxes of canned goods with us. We tried to refuse, noting that we also donated some of it, but he insisted. So we took home two boxes of canned goods that someone else donated.
When we got home to our apartment, we were surprised that another two boxes of canned goods were waiting for us by our doorstep. These two boxes came from another church.
And here’s another surprise. When we opened the other two boxes, inside one of them was a $10 coupon that can be redeemed from a nearby grocery store.
Amazing! The $5 that I gave for mission on Saturday morning was replaced by a $10 coupon. The 2 boxes of canned goods that my family gave the following day, Sunday, became 4 boxes on that same day.
In Mark 10:29-30, Jesus assured Peter the reward of following Him, saying, “Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”