Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)
TITLE: Five Cups Overfloweth
By Allen Povenmire
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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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