This summer, I was blessed with the amazing opportunity to serve as a staffer with CentriKid. This year, camp missions offering went to two different wonderful organizations, One Cup of Water and Backpacks of Hope. Church group leaders would share with their kids information about these two missions organizations. Kids were encouraged to pray about what they could give, and then during worship the final night we would take up the offering.
We taught the kids that giving financially wasn’t the only way they could support the missions. Given the motto “Pray, Give, Go,” we taught a few ways they could support the organizations and Christian workers. They could pray for the missions, they could give financially, and they could even go themselves. Here’s the thing… It’s the same for us. Don’t worry if you’ve yet to realize the opportunities God gives us daily to support missions; I was the same way. That’s why this is the story of how God used a second grader to teach me about giving:
It was day three of camp, around 9:20 a.m, and we were talking about being ready with the “Gospel of peace.” We had just discussed how different people can be ready to do their job and what it takes for them to be ready. For instance, a chef can’t bake a cake if he doesn’t have sugar or flour, right? So, what does a Christian worker need to be ready to do his or her job? We talked about how Christian workers can’t always get everything they need on their own, so we can help them. I glanced around the room, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the hesitant hand of a brown-eyed second grader raise into the air. I called on her not expecting her to say what she did, but the words that did come out of her mouth have stuck with me ever since. She said, “Ms. Katie, did you know if we don’t have money, we can help them in different ways?” She looked around the room at the rest of our Bible study and continued, “We can pray for them, too. Sometimes, that’s all God wants us to do. The really important thing to do is pray no matter what. Did you know we’re supposed to pray before we give our money too? God will tell us what to give, and He uses all of it. My church group leader said that we can give five cents or five dollars, and God will use it!”
Whoa. Needless to say, I was speechless. We continued discussing different ways we could give, and ended the Bible study with a prayer for our missionaries. Here’s the cool thing, the story doesn’t end there. Fast forward to the next night, worship day four. It was time for the mission’s offering. Our camp pastor talked about the offering, a suitcase was brought out (to represent that the money given wasn’t staying here, it was going out), and the campers were welcomed forward. I sat in my seat of the auditorium humming along to “Lord I Need You”, as I watched kid after kid walk to the front to give their part. Suddenly, I noticed a familiar brown-eyed second grader make her way to the front. She arrived at the suitcase and promptly removed her name tag to dump out the few coins she had left. She gave all she had, even if it was just a few coins, because she knew, “God will use it!”
Far too often, we as Christians make excuses when it comes to giving. Phrases like “I can’t afford to give anything” and “Someone else will give, so I don’t have to” fly out of our mouths so quickly, it’s almost cliche for us. Why is that kids understand giving better than us? Those kids that went forward that night weren’t concerned with the money they would have left, they didn’t worry about who could see them. Their sole concern was that their money would get in that suitcase, so that it could go help those kids who needed it. I encourage you to have the same mindset as those children. Just like that little girl said, it doesn’t matter if you give five cents or five dollars, God will use it. After all, Jesus fed 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch. Imagine what He can do with your offering.
About the Guest Blogger:
Katie DeWitt served as a CentriKid Bible Study Leader and taught Build It track time this past summer at camp. Originally from Dexter, Missouri, she’s a sophomore math major at Hannaibal-LaGrange University.