“There will just be a few families at the church who want to meet you,” Mary said. She’s the cherub-faced woman with an easy smile who is our wise gude all week, on loan from Compassion’s Tanzania office. And she lies. “A few families,” she said.
After two days of delayed flights, missed flights, and reroutes that took us from Detroit to Amsterdam to Nairobi to Kilimanjaro to Mwanza, Mary herded us onto a bus and bounced us down cratered orange dirt roads to meet “a few families.” Families of children served by Compassion International through a church in their community.
As we crested the hill and pulled up to the church lot, we saw the few.
They filled its yard.
Still wearing their Sunday best.
All suits and frills and grins, eager to meet…us?
“Ahsante,” they said.
Moments later they filed into the unpainted cinderblock sanctuary together. Amazing, isn’t it, how much profoundly potent work God often does in the most meager of places? Nutrition, education, healing, and Jesus with dirt floors beneath and cinderblock all around.
I said a quick silent prayer for words to speak. On behalf of Compassion staff everywhere. On behalf of sponsors in America. My two working brain cells sparked and sputtered and all I could think of was…thanks. To God.
And isn’t this why the many few spent their afternoon together, with strangers? Isn’t this why a small church of dirt and cinderblock grew from dozens to hundreds as it partnered with Compassion to serve the children in its neighborhood? Isn’t this why bloggers cry at little becoming much? Isn’t it all thanks. To God.
We are thankful…
For beautiful smart children and mothers who see to it that they’re in school every day, and Compassion sponsors who buy their uniforms and books, and a church that tutors.
For strong growing bodies fed well by parents and examined by doctors paid for by a sponsor.
For a pastor who cares not only for the souls in his community but their minds and bodies too.
We are thankful for a God who makes much of little. A loving church. A compassionate pastor. Thirty-eight dollars.
The Apostle Paul said that God makes us rich in every way so that on every occasion we will have the gift of being able to give (2 Corinthians 9:6-10) And because of our giving…many give thanks.
Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God…
As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! – 2 Corinthians 9:11-15
Give thanks that our little gives children big reason to give thanks to God. Sponsor a child and give God one more thank you from Tanzania today.