One of the things that we believe God has spoken loudly and clearly to us about is local fund raising. The typical international model is: get the money from the richest places and do the work in the poorest places. It MAKES SENSE.
God hardly ever tells us to do things that make sense to us. Something about His ways being higher…
Anyway, He told us not to neglect the widow’s mite, the gifts of the poor.
Turning a funding model on its head takes a great deal of blind faith for any organization. In this industry, there are all kinds of words tossed about like “return on investment,” “opportunity cost,” and “bottom line.”
So, with not much idea of what we were doing (this statement really ought to be in the present tense), we went to our TCT partner churches. These are the people that a few years ago couldn’t afford food for the whole year, so they scavenged roots and bark from the jungle to survive. Now they’re comparatively rich–they eat twice a day, even.
Okay, they are still poor by almost everyone’s standards. But they are worlds from where they started. And, more importantly, they are rich in faith.
These churches were already contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of labor and materials for Acts of Love in their own communities. Reconciled World provides training and mentoring, and these churches plan, fund and complete hundreds of small projects to develop their communities and show God’s love.
Then we asked them to give more.
Many churches in one country willingly gave up their food-allowance at the TCT trainings so that the money could be used to reach more churches. Their willingness to buy and prepare their own meals, or even to go hungry, returned $25,000 to the program enabling 100 new churches to begin TCT.
Then we wrote the churches a letter inviting them to give money so that another church could receive the TCT training that they had received.
The young granddaughter of one of our trainers learned about the letter and decided to give all the money she had saved–$10. This is a huge financial gift for any six-year old. A US foundation is matching $2 for every $1 the churches give. So, God used this six-year-old girl to provide for six-weeks of TCT partnership for an isolated and persecuted church. The girl was so happy that there was a way she could serve God even though she is young. What an amazing heart for God!
We’re praising God for widow’s mites today! And the little girl’s mite! May God grant each of us the same kind of faith, passion for His kingdom, and generosity.
“Truly I tell you,” [Jesus] said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”