This week I was on the phone with an Executive Director of a Foundation that gives millions of dollars to missions. Things are tight right now for them, as they are for many other faith-based Foundations, but they are doing their best to keep commitments to missionaries. Not easy during this recession when the returns on investments dont bring the kind of returns they had hoped for. Missionaries who depend on these kinds of gifts are struggling this year.
Immediately after hanging up the phone with this Foundation, I went out to dinner with a Portuguese house church pastor. His tiny church had put together a HUGE love package for our missionary family including 5 bottles of wine and all kinds of food. There was even an envelope with money as a thank you gift for our ministry in Portugal five years ago.One of the families who gave included a not-so-wealthy family with two children. One of the children, on hearing of our family's mission, donated the entire contents of his piggy bank to help the gift go further. This church leader wept when he received the gift and was really emotional when he told me the story.
The big and the small. Both important to God. Its weird being in the middle of these two disparate groups; Foundation leaders with large investments and little boys with piggy banks. The Kingdom of God moves forward on the resources of both groups. A verse leapt to mind that I should share. It speaks of contentment and the pleasantness of God's gifts, whether big or small. Psalm 16:5-6
LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
Related: Christianity Today have a great article this month on how the church will probably give more this year, even though philanthropy in general has dropped during this recession. Check out Church Giving Outlook: You've Got Some Time. and there is lots more to read in their economic crisis section.