Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Leftover Loaves

"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish," (John 6:9 NIV).

A little boy gave away his lunch. We gave away our time. I can't forget the day when we offered to use our ham radio to make a call for a friend's friend. It's unforgettable because people keep reminding me of it. A simple act of kindness is still remembered 33 years later by some but otherwise forgotten by me.

Just an ordinary morning. Business as usual at the mission house as my husband prepared to dart out the door to meetings. Then, the unusual happened. A call from a missionary friend asking if he could bring a friend over to talk with us? Nothing unusual about that except his unusual request. His friend wanted a favor. Would Chuck make a ham radio contact with a doctor in Brazil?

Our friend arrived with Fernando, and his sad story unfolded. His wife had a brain tumor. There were no doctors in Bolivia who could perform the surgery. Also, at the time, neither were there phone lines connecting the Amazon areas with the outside world. The weather conditions cooperated in connecting all parties. To our surprise, the doctor recommended a medication before surgery which also didn't exist in Bolivia. He agreed to send the medication. Then, a miracle! Weeks later, the medication completed, another scan and checkup were scheduled. The results, no tumor! 

We became good friends with Fernando and Charo. Together we helped start a church in their house that now thrives with 200 members in a beautiful church building. We are more than friends. We are co-workers for the Kingdom. Last week, they came to visit with their youngest son and his fiancĂ©. During our meal, Fernando again thanked us for that ham radio call. Sincere gratefulness for a small act on our part––33 years ago. A delightful evening with precious saints. The conversation turned to the wedding and Jesse and Dyanna asked if we would be their spiritual parents for their marriage––as we are for Jesse's brother and sister also. It's a custom in Bolivia offered to only closest relatives and friends. We were honored to say yes.  An April wedding, of course, we agreed!

Another day is remembered and recorded in the Bible. Thousands of years later we are reminded of that day because of a small lunch that made a big difference. Do you wonder what difference you make for God's kingdom? Do you think the small things you do don't make a difference? I wonder too if the little things I do make a difference in the big world around me. But, a little boy caught my attention when I read a verse in the Bible. The verse jumped out and wowed me.

A little boy sat in the crowd holding his lunch. Most likely you know the story. A crowd of people needed lunch ––a crowd of 5000 people. The little boy stepped up. John 6:9 says, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish," but how far will they go among so many?" A little can make a big difference. 

Just a ham radio call, but it turned into a long-lasting friendship and the beginning of a church. The little boy only had one small lunch that turned into a large meal for 5000 people. 

Will you step up to Jesus and offer him your small "lunch"? Nothing is too small for our big God! You never know how far your small acts will go––just as the five barley loaves and two small fish multiplied, so will God multiply our small "lunches" for Him. And, with more than enough leftover loaves to share.

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