Dear Prayer Warrior,
What do some sandals, two papayas, two fish, five loaves of bread, and two coins called mites have in common? Probably pretty small and probably taken for granted.
We know the story of the widow’s mites. Jesus watched in the Temple as the widow gave her offering. He commended her because she gave so much from her limited resources. Likewise, we know how the boy turned over his lunch to Jesus resulting in a picnic for more than five thousand other people!
But let me tell you the story of the sandals and two papayas. In Tanzania it is the custom to give monetary offerings during the worship service. On my first MOST trip to Tanzania, I witnessed a worshipper bringing a live chicken as an offering at a special dedication after the service. I tucked that sight away as interesting and something that would certainly shock my church back home.
On my second trip to another area of Tanzania, I was not surprised to see the same custom of giving goods as offerings after the close of the service. But somehow this time was very different-the offerings were a pair of sandals and two papayas! So many thoughts! Were these literally first fruits? The first sandals woven; the first fruit picked. Were these gifts given because the giver had too many sandals or a glut of fruit? Were the sandals actually old ones or maybe they just hurt the wearer’s feet?
The Lord would not let those sandals and papayas out of my mind. What was I supposed to learn? Was it that the sandals were the result of cleaning out and I was to clean out bad habits and worries just as Christ had cleaned me from sin. Or was it to consider how easy it is to accumulate and amass possessions without considering how much I really need?
Maybe the giver was passing on sandals that once belonged to a dead loved one, putting aside the giver’s own grief to reach out to another. A real lesson in compassion! Or, finally, maybe those sandals were outgrown, but not outworn, and needed to be passed on to a new generation. My belief in the saving grace of Jesus has certainly not been outgrown or outworn. It must be passed on!
So, each of these items is seemingly very small and common, but the Lord changed all that! He used them to change hearts and lives. As the new year begins, you may think your prayer efforts are small. You could not be more wrong! God can use your prayers to bless you and those you pray for. It is the prayers of people just like you that give courage and strength to team members and support staff. I have been blessed by those prayers, just like with witnessing the gifts of sandals and papayas! So, respond to the command and please Pray without ceasing!
MOST Team to Tanzania
Please visit MOST at www.mostministries.org to see the mission trips scheduled for 2023 or contact CCL members Bill and Kathy Hahn at 248-766-7387 to learn more!