Saturday, October 5, 2013

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

One of my cousins and his wife gave us an unexpected gift through PayPal.  It illustrates how much we can do with the support of those who care about our mission work, and how important that support is (along with prayers, of course).  I am reprinting here my thank you letter to that family so you can see how much we can do without huge amounts of money.  Every gift is important because even just $5.00 will buy a pretreated mosquito net that will save two or three lives.  Here is the letter (with references to their names removed):

"Just thought you should know that thanks to your very generous gift, we now have thirteen untrained lay pastors enrolled in a two-year seminary program in Arusha at the Methodist School of Theology.  All their travel, spending money, Bibles, Hymn Books were from your gift, text books, room and board plus all tuition and fees are paid by the Methodist Church in Korea.  It will mean a huge difference for our church, not only to have these men and women trained, but all trained in the same place (I teach there once a year for a couple of weeks) and they will bond together since they come from different villages and almost never get together.  Your gift also paid for new uniforms for the orphans at St. Caryn Pierce Academy (the preschool you will see here), at St. Penny's Academy (a preschool in the village of Karikakari named for my sister), the uniforms at St. Teresa's Academy in Murando, in addition, your gift will see that in each school the orphans will get two cups of hot ujii (a nutritious porridge) every day of school for the rest of the school year.  We were also able to make repairs to the guest cottages on the grounds here in time to host the Australian mission team who was here for eight days and just left.  Pregnant women and babies die more often than others from malaria, so we were also able to purchase 100 pretreated mosquito nets and distribute them around Bunda through the various church clinics (about four different denominations including Catholic) scattered around our area.  When we get gifts without specific designations, Karen, John, and I all got to suggest areas of need.  You will never know how important and significant that gift was to our mission and all we can say is "Thank You" which seems so inadequate.  Your gift has saved lives, provided food for the hungry, clothes for the orphans, and almost all the things that Christ said were most important.   I hope we used the money to do the kinds of things you were feeling in your heart when you gave it.  For us, it was like Christmas.  Obviously, I like being able to do things for others and can do nothing were it not for the kindness of people like you.  Our churches thank God for you by name each Sunday.  They probably don't pronounce it properly, but I'm sure God knows to whom they are referring.  We have a new preschool at the church in the village of Tireme, and we would consider it a great honor if you would name it for us in memory or honor of someone you love."

Our hearts were touched, our spirits lifted, and the lives of so many changed in positive ways by the gift from just one family whose hearts are caring and who love "even the least of these" and for whom we will always be grateful.  It is in giving that we truly receive.  Keep us in your prayers for we need God's wisdom when it comes to sharing what gifts we do receive.

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