Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she has given everything she had to live on.”
Mark 12:43,44

A bronze mite, also known as a lepton (meaning small), minted by Alexander Jannaeus, King of Judaea from 103 to 76 B.C., and still in circulation at the time of Jesus.
I first met Dorothy more than thirty-five years ago when I was a missionary with Latin America Mission (LAM). Dorothy served as editor of the Evangelist, LAM’s magazine, and also assisted her husband, John, who was LAM’s Director of Communications. I, too, worked under John’s supervision producing videos and slide shows.

My tenure at LAM lasted two years; I left because I felt called to launch the ministry of Messenger Films. I can look back on that time and admit I was rash in some ways, and not very practical. I not only hit some big potholes, I sometimes disappeared from view altogether! But among the voices of encouragement I received along the way were those of Dorothy and John. Sometimes, their support took the form of a kind note… at other times, a friendly phone call or a small donation to the ministry. As the years passed, and Messenger Films succeeded in producing its first film, Ropa Nueva para Felipe, John, especially, spoke to me in no uncertain terms. “You made the right decision leaving the mission,” he said. “Stay true to your calling.”

John succumbed to Parkinson’s Disease in 2010, and since then, Dorothy and I have stayed in touch. Recently, she sent me a letter, which I copy here with her permission.

I burst into tears when I read this letter. I am no Jesus (though I quietly aspire to be like him). I would simply call to your attention, as the Lord did those many centuries ago in Jerusalem when he said, “This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.”

But let me not stop with the story of a generous woman named Dorothy. Let me also recount the story of a generous man named Christopher (whom I have also known for many years).  Christopher is, shall we say, a man of means, who, I am convinced, can go nowhere on God’s good earth without looking for a way to bless other people. Certainly, he has blessed me and the Messenger Films ministry in the past.
My wife, Cheryl, is Jamaican, and not so long ago, Christopher and his wife, Debbie, joined us in “the land of wood and water” for a holiday. While there, Christopher met an elderly man named Mr. Hall. Described simply, Mr. Hall is in his 80s and works as a gatekeeper. He cannot retire because he has no other means of financial support. For various reasons, his social security benefits have not been paid over the years, so he still needs to hold down a job.

Christopher praying a blessing over Jamaica.
One evening, Christopher quietly slipped money into our hands to pass on to Mr. Hall when the time was right. What do you think? Was it a gift on par with the widow’s mite? Perhaps not. But it came from the same place, the one place that matters to God. For “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). The Bible also says this: “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24).

My friends, I encourage us all to take a walk today on the wild side. Let’s be rash and extravagant in love and generosity! After all, can any of us out-give God? You know we cannot. And remember this when you do give: “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). 

Sent this July 4th weekend with love and prayers for your peace and happiness.
P.S. Feel free to reply to this email with your comments. I read each one!

Join us for a live chat with Cris on our Facebook page July 9 at 9 PM Eastern! He will be discussing The Puzzle Factory and the crisis of mental health around the globe today.

Please also consider supporting our current Indiegogo campaign! We are raising funds to secure an A-list actor for the lead role of Ben Whitmore, Sr. 

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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.

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