My brother and his family live in California. They don’t own a mansion, they don’t have a swimming pool, and they don’t spend their lives playing beach volley-ball. In fact, they live in a smallish, humble home, in a smallish backwater town miles from anywhere, let alone a beach.
But they haven’t got a smallish, small-town vision. They’ve got a huge, dynamic, God-centred, world-changing one.
They noticed that their town has a significant homeless population, and instead of driving silently by or throwing an occasional coin in a begging bowl, they have made a point of going out, spending time with the people, getting to know them, finding out where they sleep, taking them hot food and generally treating them like real human beings – like image-bearers of God.
But even that isn’t enough. Since the earthquake in Haiti, they have been looking for ways of helping people who are not their immediate neighbours, but who are still real human beings with the same needs, desires, hopes and dreams as us.
First they went round the house digging out the odd bits of loose change that was sitting unnoticed in drawers, down the backs of chairs, and even in piggy banks. What good was it doing anyone just sitting there? they wondered, so they gathered it up – all $28.59 of it, and sent it to World Vision to provide life-saving water purification packs for Haitians.
Well that was fun, they thought. What’s next?
Last saturday they set up a hot dog stand in the town. They figured they didn’t have much capital, or a great deal of time, and they had to find something that their 7- and 5-yr-old kids (who want to be fully involved) could do too, and 2 hours selling hot dogs ticked all the boxes. The local newspaper publicised the event in advance, and in their two-hour stint, they raised a staggering $844.53!! Just from selling hotdogs!
Read the full story here, but more importantly, don’t ever think that your limited resources, time or skills are not enough to make a huge difference in the world. They don’t have much, but they’re learning that God can take a mustard seed and make something huge and powerful out of it.