We met these two precious people in Canton this past weekend. God’s goodness and grace poured out, blessing upon blessing. After retiring a few years ago, they heard a calling from the Lord and obeyed. They live on the least amount of money they can and donate the rest to church missions and other charities.
As my sister and I sat in our lonely little booth in Canton we knew we were supposed to be there because it had been given to us for free by the owners who we met at our Garage Sale for Haiti the month before. However, we decided about an hour in that 1-selling things is not our gift and 2-we should just pack up and go home….after shopping a little, of course! It seemed that the two of us together was intimidating because the only time our little booth got visitors was when there was only one of us tending to it! All of our displays and items seemed to slowly make their way outside our given space…surely someone would stop and look if there was a roadblock in the middle of the walkway. By noon we had four visitors, two that literally ran once I came out from behind the “curtain”. Another woman who told me she was glad that our education program actually provided an academic education and wasn’t centered on the gospel because “needy people do need food and a real education.” I scared her away when I explained that we do all three and that in each of our villages we build a church in the center as we are centered on gospel truth and sustainable help. She quickly responded “that’s great, but I’m not going to buy anything.”
Finally by mid afternoon we had sold 6 pieces for the women in the village and felt somewhat productive. Of course, once again, God reminded us that “it’s really not all about us and what we do”.
While I was at lunch, a vendor walked by our booth and shared with my sister his heart for Missions. He and his wife go to Africa often with a group from their church. As he shared his heart for the people in Africa, we shared our heart for Haiti. As he left our booth he mentioned that he was going to send his wife “a lady in a cowboy hat” to our booth to buy a piece.
Later that hour, a lady in a cowboy hat showed up and shared with us that she and her husband felt lead to buy all of the pieces that were left at the end of the day. “Box up what you have left and write up a receipt” she said. At the end of the day there were 35 pieces left!
This January every embroider in the village will be receiving money for their hours of work. Once again I am reminded that it’s not us, but Him. He ministers to us as we obey and He continuously reminds the women in the village that all is done for His Glory, not ours; that He is their faithful provider, not us.
The world will tell you “give and pay it forward” so that you will be given much in return. I have learned that obedience in giving is far beyond any earthly blessing. God asks us to give so that we might see Him more clearly.