Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Mysterious Movement of the Spirit

This past Sunday, we who were in worship got to experience a moment of mystery and joy together. After learning that the children in the orphanage in the Republic of Congo where Brittany Burrows is serving as a Volunteer in Mission for a year had no mosquito nets, no sheets on their beds, and little food, Charles Willison decided to scrap his planned children's message.

The Spirit moved him and he responded.

He gave each of the children a quarter and then offered them several options for the use of that quarter. They could certainly keep it and buy something for themselves. Or put it in a piggy bank. Or perhaps they could see if anyone in the congregation would be willing to take that quarter in exchange for a $10 bill or a check for $10 in order to purchase one of the 30 mosquito nets needed by the orphanage.

Charles asked for those in the congregation who might be willing to make such an exchange to raise their hands. He then sent the children out to hand over their quarters and pick up the money and checks.

I wish you could have seen what I saw. Hands up all over the place. People quickly reaching for their checkbooks and looking to see if they might have the cash on them to make the exchange. The children busily ran back and forth, exchanging their quarters for the pieces of paper, each representing the hope of health for an impoverished child across the ocean. The children ran out of quarters, and many gave up their exchanged quarters so others could participate in this magical moment. Joy filled the air as it became clear that Brittany would be able to buy the nets she needed.

That money was set aside to be counted separately from the general offering and from the communion offering. About an hour after the service was over, our faithful counters gave us the results: over $1000 was given! I immediately emailed Brittany and told how much had been raised and told her to buy the nets. She wrote in response:

Oh my goodness that is so wonderful!! This is huge news, these kids have never had mosquito nets and the rainy season is about to get here so malarial mosquitoes will be swarming. This is a miracle! I haven't looked into prices yet, but I think we might even be able to buy sheets for them with that money, maybe some other things too, at least food. Wow ...I am overjoyed. I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures so they can see what their money did.

Thank you, you wonderful congregation. God nudged and you responded. Lives have been saved and children across the world have been blessed. We'll never know the fullness of this blessing, but just imagine that one of those children who will now be spared the devastation of malaria might someday be the one who finds a way to feed thousands or a way to cure cancer or becomes a politician who fights for justice and righteousness. We'll never know . . . but God does.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Kerry Sumpter Smith said...

That is awesome!!! Praise God for Charles who was listening to the Holy Spirit and Praise God for a church with such a giving heart!