Our church, Life.Church, partners with local churches in places all around the world like Malawi. I recently got to travel to this beautiful, but economically impoverished country known as “the warm heart of Africa.” The entire trip was incredible, but I just have to tell you Leah’s story. She lives near Chitipa, which is so remote many organizations don’t bother to go there.
Four years before we met, a friend from her church invited Leah to join a small group called “Light.” But Leah was reluctant to join. To join the group, she’d have to contribute a little bit of money to a group savings fund each week. Her family could barely scrape by, and they didn’t even have money to educate their kids or make repairs on their thatch-roofed house. Still, her friends convinced her to give it a try, so she did.
After the group savings accumulate for a few months, any group member can borrow money, use it to do something valuable, then pay it back. After a year, the savings are shared out equally to the group, and it all starts over again. First, Leah borrowed a small amount from the savings pool to buy sugar cane in bulk. She sold it, paid the loan back to the fund, and had money left over.
She began to believe she could do this.
She started to dream again. She’d always wanted to learn how to make clothing but paying for the training had never been possible until she borrowed from the savings pool. With the money, she was able to pay for training and buy a sewing machine. She grew confident again. Leah again borrowed from the group to buy cloth, which turned into clothing and a nice profit. With her profits she purchased livestock for her family, replaced their roof, and bought a bicycle that her husband used to provide a taxi service.
I’m still not sure any of us realize how much of a fighter Leah must be. Let me tell you something you won’t forget.
In Leah’s village, clean water was a two-hour, back-breaking walk away. Then, about two months before we met, Leah took her hard-fought earnings and personally paid to have a well drilled in her own back yard so that more than 100 neighbors could have unlimited access to clean, life-giving water.
We all need a cause to fight for. Leah’s story inspires me to start with my family but not just stop there. I want to fight to give people near and far access to what they need for life.
Challenge: What cause are you fighting for? Are you fighting for anything beyond yourself? Anyone beyond your family? How can you team up with others?
Ponder: And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
Hebrews 13:16 NLT
Content for the weekly inspirational bulletin is provided by Lyle Dietrich.
God Shows Up When We Pray
|Do you pray for your spouse? We talk a lot about praying with your spouse but what about praying for your spouse? Pray for the things you know are important to your spouse. Ask your spouse what they would like you to be praying for them. |
Pray for your spouse to grow in their relationship with Jesus. Those are just a few of the many ways you can begin to pray for your spouse. If you do, this is what God will do: He will show up. You will experience His presence in your marriage and a greater connection with your spouse.
Today’s One Thing: Begin to pray each day for your spouse.
Our Daily Bread
Scars Tell A Story
See my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe………….John 20:27
The butterfly flitted in and out of my mother’s panda-faced pansies. As a child, I longed to catch it. I raced from our backyard into our kitchen and grabbed a glass jar, but on my hasty return, I tripped and hit the concrete patio hard. The jar smashed under my wrist and left an ugly slash that would require eighteen stitches to close. Today the scar crawls like a caterpillar across my wrist, telling the story of both wounding and healing.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His death, He brought His scars. John reports Thomas wanting to see “the nail marks in his hands” and Jesus inviting Thomas to “put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side” (John 20:25, 27). In order to demonstrate He was the same Jesus, He rose from the dead with the scars of His suffering still visible.
The scars of Jesus prove Him to be the Savior and tell the story of our salvation. The pierced marks through His hands and feet and the hollow in His side reveal a story of pain inflicted, endured, and then healed—for us. He did it so that we might be restored to Him and made whole.
Have you ever considered the story told by Christ’s scars?
By Elisa Morgan
REFLECT & PRAY:
Jesus, how I love the story Your scars tell to me—and to our world. May I learn to love You more and more through the story of Your scars.