I took a seat.

My underside had barely warmed the church bench when the pastor’s appeal grabbed my attention.

Oh, my, I wondered. Are we coming to another offering?

“Folks, I feel the Lord wants us to get in on this missionary adventure with Brother Jerry and Sister Ann.” David paused just a moment.

“The Louts will need a car once they’re in Africa. Let’s trust God and believe him to let Eastwood get them that car. What do you say?”

For a church this size with sparse revenue, the guy at the pulpit had thrown them a big challenge. I could not have guessed the surprise coming.

One by one, smiles spread across the congregation. Heads nodded. Once more, in under a week’s time, I sat befuddled while a gathering of common believers dug deep. Joyously, without constraint. Reaching for a check book, for cash, for a paper scrap to write a ‘promise offering’, our precious Eastwood Baptist friends rallied. The collection seemed over as promptly as it began and the service moved on.

Following the customary after-service mingling, Ann and I moved toward the gravel parking lot and our vehicle. The remarkable week had flown and we needed to catch our breath and snatch some time together.

“Hey guys!” David caught up with us. His face glowed. In his hand was a note, figures scribbled on it. “Maybe this will help you move around once you’re over there. It’s what came in today.”

Stunned was too tame a word. What a generous outpouring from a congregation of such humble size. I read the note aloud, “One thousand eight hundred dollars. . .” We could only shake our heads. “Wow, Thank you, Lord.”

– fast forward –

On a balmy June day in Nairobi the keys of a spanking new Volkswagen Beatle were dropped into my hands. Complete with Title.

The Kenya shillings purchase price was printed clearly on the Bill of Sale. It equaled eighteen hundred U.S. dollars.
©2017 Jerry Lout

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