Forward Today: Giving generously

Dear friends in Christ: We’re pleased to welcome Lindsay Barrett-Adler, our Development Associate, as our guest author this week.

Widow’s Mite – Ancient Roman Bronze Coins

“For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”Mark 12:44

Like Miriam wrote last week, we fundraisers love to tell stories. We recently shared my story of an addition to our Easter dinner – sharing physical and spiritual sustenance with a friend experiencing homelessness. When I first shared this story with the Forward Movement team, I did not realize that it was just the story’s beginning.

In the months since Easter Monday, we have continued to welcome our new neighbor. My husband has fallen into a bit of a routine with hot water for her instant coffee (she insists a new pot is completely unnecessary), prayer, and sometimes a breakfast of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, as per her request. Sometimes she charges her cell phone. We still know very little about her; we have no clue how she came to sleep on our church’s bench or if she has a team of social supports beneath her. We don’t even know her name.

But we know one thing—she, out of her poverty, has become a regular donor to our little church in Philadelphia. One morning my husband heard the clink of the sacristy door mail slot and spotted a dollar bill on the ground. Since then, he has seen our friend deposit a dollar each day she visits. Sometimes she donates $5 a week; sometimes, she only visits twice. But she always gives generously out of her poverty.

This woman is hardly the first widow and mite I have encountered and certainly not the first in my role at Forward Movement. We receive small gifts from Forward Day by Day readers who are incarcerated, residents in elder care facilities, and military personnel. Each gift is usually accompanied by a handwritten note, sharing how much comfort and love they feel with each edition’s arrival. For some, Forward Day by Day is the only mail they receive.

When someone asks for nourishment like my new neighbor, we can send them materials free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our donors. In the fundraising world, we often talk about major donors, but Jesus reminds us that each of us is a beloved child of God and every gift, even the change that rattles through a sacristy mail slot, is a major gift. Thanks be to God.

Lindsay Barrett-Adler serves as Development Associate at Forward Movement and delights in sharing the story of its mission and impact, made possible by generous donors. In her free time, Lindsay is an often-disappointed Philadelphia sports fan, curious chef, and mom of three, always in need of more coffee.

More from our ministry:

Make these stories of faith possible: Donate to our ministry

Pre-order The Unjust Steward: Wealth, Poverty, and the Church Today

New from ChurchNext: Developing Christian Patience