A lady who cleaned houses for others had very little to share but did send us a $5 bill, with an apology that she could not send more.
We kept track of that bill. First it went to town to pay for a small part we needed and it was returned with the message: "No charge." The next day it went into town again to buy something else. This time it came back because there was a special that day. Again, "No charge."
Twice the $5 had been offered, the merchandise obtained and our money returned. Not until the third time (does the "Golden Arches" ever refuse money?) was it accepted.
When the giver heard that her gift had been multiplied three times by the Lord, she was so thrilled she told one of the ladies for whom she cleaned house. This lady immediately gave her another $5 for missions!
But the story didn't end there. A businessman in the area asked us how our work is financed. We mentioned the "multiplying" $5 bill. A few weeks later when we placed an order with him, he settled our account by telling us, "Pretend you are spending that $5 over again."
To the best of our figuring, God has generated ten times the amount of the original $5 in actual purchases, and no accounting has been obtained of the different ones who have been encouraged to share the little they have because of it.
SHALL I NOT CLOTHE YOU?
We always dreaded the coming of a new school year because there was n so much shopping to do for the boys. During the summer of 1981, we estimated that it would cost about $2,000 to get just the barest school clothing necessities for them It might as well have been two million dollars, so far as we were concerned.
But a Yakima merchant who was unaware of our need gave us two vans full of his "returns." They included everything from socks and underwear for pre-schoolers to XXL men's sizes. Besides that, he gave us at least 100 pairs of cowboy boots.
On that "dreaded" first day of school, not only the boys but all the staff families were outfitted better than any year previously. God was telling us, "If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not MUCH MORE clothe you?" (Matthew 6:28-30)
Food is always a big item in our budget. "Hollow legs" are more than just a poetic expression when 20 boys try to see how many slices of French toast they can eat at one sitting or how many pancakes they can make disappear. Thank God for a 48-inch grill but still--
We have a ready answer for those who say, "Could you use a ton of potatoes?" or "How about 1,000 pounds of asparagus?" At one time or another, we have been given three full pick-up loads of ice cream, 200 gallons of milk, cases of yogurt, 200 cases of fresh corn (5 dozen to the case), 500 pounds of Jello powder (lemon), 8 cases of fresh pineapple, 2 pallets of frozen Lima beans, enough cranberry juice to fill a swimming pool.
(To be continued)
Today I am thankful for the God who multiplies.