The Penny


Last night I was struggling to think of what to write for my very first blog post.   It’s a pretty big deal.   I made the site and it has been sitting blank for a week.   I have many writings already completed but the pressure of what to write as the first one seemed to be blocking me to post anything at all.   I was in church yesterday and sitting behind me was my friend Rick whom I used to work with and who goes on every mission trip that is offered at our church.   Sitting in front of him reminded me of the last time I sat in front of him and I knew just what to write about.

A few years ago I was on a mission trip where 400 youth from around the USA and a few from Canada came together to bless a community.   These trips hosted by Groupwork Camps are amazing.   I have participated in five of them; all of them life changing for everyone involved.

This particular trip changed me more than the others.   It was not on the worksite but back at the camp at the end of the day program.   We listened to a video message from a man who grew up living in a refugee camp.   He talked about how they are rationed only one small bowl of porridge each day to survive on.  He looked around and saw the starvation and the dying around him and thought what a desperate place how can we get out of here?   He went and sat under a tree to think about it and the idea of education came to him.   He started going to the tree every day and reading anything he could find.   Each day more and more smaller children followed him and he would read to them and before he knew it he had started a school.    To make a long story short, he ended up continuing education and becoming a teacher.   He used every resource he had to start his own school but what he realized was that the students needed food as well as education.   He took his own meager funds and food and he trusted that if he gave his all, God would show up and do great things.

This man challenged all of us to take what we are given, use it to help others and watch it grow.   Allow God room to do amazing things and trust him with your own needs.  After the video, we were all given a penny.   We were then encouraged to think about what we are holding onto.   What are we being called to give?   When we thought of something we were to lay our penny at the foot of the cross.

I knew immediately what my penny represented and I DID NOT want to give it God!    I just started crying.   My friend, Rick, sat behind me laid his hands on me and started to pray.   He prayed for me to be strong and courageous as we deal with all of our foster children.   I cried more and then laughed as I told Rick what was bothering me and it was exactly what he had been praying for me.

We had been foster parents for over 15 years and I was tired.   I felt we had done enough and wanted to change direction in my life.     I didn’t want to take on any more kids, any more heart breaks, any more work, any more birth families any of it!   I knew that laying that penny down meant saying we would take more kids along with all the rest of it.   I stubbornly held on to that penny not wanting to commit to letting God decide what my future looked like.   I wanted to choose the easy path.   After many tears and prayer I placed that penny at the cross.    I knew when I got home the phone would ring and it would be the agency asking if we would take another child.   Last week a little guy left our home and went back to his Mom.   This week we have a little baby.   Never would I be able to write just how many blessings we have experienced because we give our all.

I want to forward this challenge on to you.   What are you holding on to?   What is God calling you to give to others?   God is not going to take it from you, you have to lay it down.   You have to willingly say, “Okay God, What is it you want me to do?”   Then when he answers, you have to obey.  Just do it!   You will be amazed at how God will meet you and equip you to do the very thing you didn’t think you could do.

Let God have your life; He can do more with it than you can. — Dwight L Moody


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