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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: Five Cups Overfloweth
By Allen Povenmire


On the outskirts of Lima, Peru lie poverty-stricken areas where thousands live in conditions that, to most of us, would seem unimaginable. They are communities that exist outside the peripheral view of the mainstream, literally carved into the mountainsides. Houses there are built from whatever material is available, primarily concrete block and sheet metal roofing. It was in one of these communities, known as the “Mirador,” literally the Viewpoint, that God blessed my wife and me last July while serving on an evangelistic mission team.

We split up into two teams of five, going from house to house all afternoon sharing the Gospel of Christ. Each team had a couple of Americans with interpreters from Ecuador and Chile. The Lima church we were working with ran a satellite church on the Mirador, and two sisters in the community served as the church’s missionaries. They were blood sisters as well as sisters in the Blood.

It was these two sisters who arranged many of our appointments that day on the Mirador. You see, they had been witnessing through word and deed to the people of their community long before we arrived. For instance, on a daily basis, the church sent simple breakfast food up the mountain, for children of the poorest of poor. The sisters coordinated this effort and many others for the people of their impoverished community. They made our efforts easy, as people were readily approachable, largely due to relationships these godly servants had established with their neighbors.

We saw person after person come to Christ that afternoon on the Mirador. There was Juanita, a woman who sold groceries out of her home; Roberto, a man making repairs on his house, Jovanna, a woman who’d resisted becoming a Christian before, but called upon the Name of the Lord that day...and on and on it went.

At one point, one of the sisters led us to her own home, where she’d arranged for three other women to meet with us, all nonbelievers. As we walked into her square, concrete block house, I was met by the sight of two nursing mothers, awaiting our arrival. While our culture calls for this to be done with discretion, this was not the case on the Mirador. Trying to mask the surprise of the situation, I asked my wife how I should proceed.

“Look ‘em in the eye and tell them about Jesus.” And, so I did. A few moments later, we celebrated three new sisters in Christ.

We continued visiting several other homes that afternoon, as the Holy Spirit moved about the Mirador. Each time someone said yes to Jesus, the two sisters cried out with joy. We witnessed some thirty-two commitments to Christ and, at the end our visits, we returned to the missionary sister’s house to rest and reflect on our day. The other team was still out on the mountainside.

The sisters seated our team of five at a well-used table and chairs in one corner of the house and went to work serving us refreshments of saltine crackers and coffee. They arranged the crackers on a chipped dish in front of us, brought the coffee out in a stove top percolator, and placed five mismatched cups in front of us. Their graciousness and hospitality were outshone only by their enthusiasm. It was quite obvious that this was a rather big event to be hosting. The warm fellowship they demonstrated toward us made their simple offerings as satisfactory as a grand feast.

Shortly after, the other team arrived and the sisters invited our team to the opposite side of the room to be seated on an old sofa and a few other metal chairs. The other team was seated at the table to receive the same royal service. From my seat, I noticed the sisters quickly, almost frantically, washing the five cups we’d just used for coffee. Hurriedly wiping them dry with a tattered towel, I surmised that those were the only five cups they possessed. Sure enough, the same cups were placed on the table to serve the second team.

Material wealth can easily be measured in earthly standards. By the world’s estimation, bank accounts, real estate holdings, and other physical assets make up a person’s personal worth. That afternoon on the Mirador, we witnessed genuine richness from two sisters that served their Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind...and to their name, they only owned five cups.

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This article has been read 513 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
This is a lovely testimonial. It is so true, especially now how so many seem to put such value on material things. Thank you for the gentle reminder.
Marina Rojas05/03/12
I imagined being in the high mountains of Peru, trekking from house to house in search of those called to the Father's kingdom!

Preaching the word of the gospel brings such richness to the soul!

This was a wonderful testimony--I felt as if I was there, celebrating the new souls!
C D Swanson 05/04/12
I loved the intensity of this powerful entry. It's always a wonderful feeling bringing the word forward.

Nice Job. God Bless~
Laury Hubrich 05/06/12
Thank you for sharing this. We take so much for granted. We don't even know how much of the world lives. Great title!
Graham Insley05/07/12
I really enjoyed this. Well written truth with a well needed message.

Thank you.
Colin Swann05/07/12
What a meaningful story, or account, and so well written. I hope it is used to spur us Christians on to be faithful in service for our Lord. Thanks!
Amanda Brogan05/07/12
I enjoy reading your missionary accounts. What a blessing indeed to witness true wealth in the midst of such poverty!

You made your point well throughout the course of the story, and the title really brings out its powerful message.

Well done!
Hiram Claudio05/07/12
This story brought back such wonderful memories for me (having served on short term missions to South America, Africa, and Asia). The way you allowed the moment with each group of people to shine was wonderful and well crafted.

I especially liked the scenes at the end with the two sisters. It really does create a lasting impact in your soul to simply see someone re-washing 5 cups. This was a great piece that touched me deeply. Thank you!
Genia Gilbert05/07/12
Excellent point made on topic! Thanks for sharing this.
Dannie Hawley 05/08/12
Beautifully written. It would be interesting to know if the two ladies borrowed cups to have five. Very familiar scene all over the Third World. Thanks for bringing it to us.
Leola Ogle 05/08/12
We are so spoiled in America and we take so much for granted. We want and yearn for earthly riches when the greatest treasure of all is knowing and sharing Jesus' love. Thanks for this wonderful story. God bless!
Edmond Ng 05/10/12
Thank you for sharing this. It is always such a joy to hear and read of mission work and how the Lord works in environments and ways we cannot imagine. Too often we have been spoiled to think of ourselves as being deprived until we see the many who live their lives simply, sometimes even without basic essentials. May we have a big heart to reach out to these people in sharing the little or much we have been blessed with in the Lord. A nicely written piece. God bless.
Hiram Claudio05/10/12
Congratulations on your 2nd place finish!
Genia Gilbert05/10/12
I congratulate you on this placing. I loved the entry and can only say, "Well Deserved."
Amanda Brogan05/10/12
Alright! Second Place! Way to go, Allen! :D
C D Swanson 05/10/12
Congratulations and God Bless~
Leola Ogle 05/10/12
Congratulations! Good job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/14/12
Congratulations on placing 13th overall!