So I am sitting there in chapel next to my wonderful wife, listening to a message about helping the poor and about how much of a minority in the world the people of the United States are. As much as I love math, it is just not adding up to me that, assuming everyone is doing something to help the poor, that they would not all be provided for by now. Now it is time for reality, I started to think about a few years back when my wife and I decided to give our first fruits to the Lord via our local church family and realizing only about 3% of people who regularly attend church are actually even doing that. At that moment I made a decision to so something more. You see you have your tithe or 10% to the local church and over and above that you have your offering. We were so blessed in the tithe but that is a story for another post, so why not give an offering as well.
There was a table  set up out in the hallway that had plastic packets sitting on it with the picture of children on them, not like the ones you see in the commercials that make the poor look all helpless and starving, but children that just looked and smiled at the camera and you could see in their eyes that they were capable of hope and of someday becoming leaders themselves. We both gravitated toward this little girl named Karla who lived in South America. Now I must admit, I was ready to give up the cash, but was not ready to write letters and work on another relationship so I let my wife do most of the work. But as a bystander, this little girl had a pretty big impact on our lives and we were able to have at least a small one on hers.
We watched as her handwriting changed over the years from block print to a beautiful cursive. We watched as her hopes and dreams changed over time. And then there was the time when she prayed for us to have a son at about year four of us trying and then year five finding out we were going to have a baby after all the doctors said we would have to have expensive treatments for it to even be possible. I will let you guess what gender the child was. As we bought our first house, I was reminded of Karla's prayers when reading back through her letters. If I believed in fate, I may say it was merely coincidence but, I Don't, I only believe in providence (Job 10:12 (NIV)).
Now let me talk about the faith aspect because what you may not realize is my wife and I were in college when we made this decision. We were both working at work study positions. By Americas standards, we were considered to be in the poverty class ourselves. On top of this, it was a commitment for more than just that year and we didn't have any idea if we would have jobs after graduation. Even in those circumstances we made the commitment that tithe and offering came before bills and eating. Now reflect back on the story above, years later, we were buying our first house and we never missed a single payment to Karla. God has blessed us greatly and you can contribute that to whatever you want but my experience has been.. the more we try to give in faith, the more we wre given to give. This may not always be the case, test it out for yourself and see (Malachi 3:10).
- Chapel was great.
- Lives were changed.
- Test God!
- Jeremias rocks.
- I'll keep you updated.
- Do something (Esther 4:14).
Basic 4: God is sovereign - Zech. 9:14; 1 Tim. 6:15-16
 If you decide to take my advice, and test God, the organization I sponsored Karla and Jeremias through is Compassion International. There are a number of reasons I chose them and I am sure I will share those reasons in a future post. It begins with a child...