I received an e-mail this week which moved me to tears, but before I tell you why, let me explain the background.
What we gave
As a church we had a special offering in early 2015 to help fund the first year of our Midhurst site and Chris Kimbangi coming onto the church staff full-time. We pledged to give a tithe (10%) of that offering to a particular project, run by a Commission Church in India, which cares for children with additional needs.
In the end we were able to send them £8,000 thanks to the generosity of Grace Church members.
What they did with our gift
I recently received a report telling us how the money is being used, which so far, among other things, has included:
- Renovating the centre (the building)
- Painting the centre
- Maintaining their vehicle, which brings children and a hospital physiotherapist to the centre daily, (each day it travels 120km)
- A cataract operation to restore sight
- The day-to-day running of the centre for 7 months
I have included some photos (and because of the nature of the internet I won’t say here exactly where it is or use photos of the children):
In 2015 I was blown away by the generosity of our church … again. This week I was blown away by seeing how much can be done with so little … again.
But neither of these things are what moved me.
When we decided to give to this project, on the advice of our friends in Commission, I had not realized that the Indian Church Pastor behind this project had attended a Grace Church meeting seven years ago, whilst visiting friends in the UK. (His trip had been paid for from the UK; they could never afford it by themselves.) I met him in passing and we exchanged a brief e-mail afterwards in which he was polite about my sermon.
Here is what moved me: having received his report on how the money was being used I sent back a message to say, “Thanks for keeping us updated”, and in reply he said,
“…we have been praying for you as a family and the Church, every Friday for last 7 years, since I visited Grace Church.”
He added that if there was anything specific they could pray for I should let him know.