Monday, July 4, 2011

Memorial Box Monday - It is "well" with my soul!

Linny at A Place Called Simplicity started Memorial Box Mondays.
"In Joshua 4 Almighty God tells the Isrealites to collect stones and set them as a Memorial to remind them of God's power and provision. He then tells theIsrealites to use those stones as a memorial; that every time they see them to tell their children and their children's children the stories over and over again, continually reminding them of God's faithfulness."
To read the full idea and an introduction to Memorial Box Mondays go here and read Linny's "How about Memorial Box Mondays? aka We will remember..." post.

A few weeks ago, we logged into our blog e-mail account (we don’t get much mail so we don’t do it that often) and we had some mail!  It came from Pastor Fritz, our Uncle in Michigan.  He explained that he had given a sermon during Christmas time about bringing our gifts to Jesus and had mentioned what we were doing for clean water.  But much like blogging, people often come and go, and leave you wondering, hoping that what you've said meant something to someone.    

Well someone was listening to that sermon, but it would take 6 months to find out... Below is the email we found in our inbox. (It's a bit lenghty, but it's worth the read. :)

It is “well” with my soul!
Hey guys, I wanted to share with you a neat story from our church service yesterday. Back in December, for one of my Christmas sermons, I mentioned that you guys where partnering with an organization that provided clean water for those who have none. The sermon wasn't just about the water project, but more down the lines of "bring our gifts to Jesus". Afterwards, our mission treasurer decided to support you and that is where the gift from North Rome came from and for all practical purposes that is where I figured our churches involvement would end.
Move ahead to our service a week ago, and a "Grandma Westgate" came up to me and said her grandson had something he wanted to show me, but he wasn't able to come today, so he would bring it next week.  Fast forward again to yesterday.  I got the church ready to go and went down to get the mail. On my way back up, I was actually opening up your thank-you note, when grandma Westgate and a very smiley grandson turned the corner and said "Pastor Fritz, we saved up this money ($100.19) and it's for the kids who don't have any water"!!! How cool is that! (I always wonder if anyone is listening to my sermons and apparently at least one kid was!) Any how, I guess grandson was there that day in December and was quite moved by the fact that some kids have no water. He had gone home and discussed it with his grandma and she told him that if he tried hard to put a dollar a week in his bank (a converted orange juice bottle) by the end of the year he would have 52 dollars to send to the "well people". Grandma also promised that if he was faithful to it, she would contribute the difference to make a gift of 75 dollars. A week or so ago, Grandma saw grandson adding more change to the bottle and casually asked him how much he thought he had. Grandson is not an estimating kind of kid, so he dumped it out and started counting. When it was all said and done, He had already saved by himself, 75.19! Grandma was so impressed and excited that she gave him the other 25 dollars right on the spot!
And how cool is Gods timing that at the very moment I an opening your thank-you/update, he is coming with more! As a matter of fact I able to hand him the water drop thank-you and a copy of your newsletter so he would know the well is on the way! To cool! Anywho, just wanted you to know how far reaching God's will is, and that your work is not in vain!
Love ya!

It's great to know that something that God has already blessed way beyond what we had imagined is still continuing to glorify Him, but to top it off we had been pretty bad with sending out thank you notes to all of the people that helped us out (6 months late) but God still used it for part of His plan.
And if you don’t think that is cool enough, we have more...  We are here visiting family in Michigan and are going by some sort of scheduled/seat-of-our-pants itinerary.  So when we showed up unannounced at Fritz's church on Sunday he was just as surprised as we were when he shared with his church the same sweet story and also the exchange of e-mails and our newsletter that he had printed in the church bulletin that day! He also delivered a great sermon about offering to God what we have in our hands so that He can do something beautiful, and told the story of Ivan, his grandma, and the juice bottle of change.  Another God thing- putting us at the right place at the right time.  How cool is it that we could be there to hear the story right in the place that it happened? :)

What a beautiful, big-picture story of God's great plan and how perfect His timing is, even when we are waaay late.  To remind us of this, our King's blessings when we serve Him, and this faithful child of God, we will put in our memorial box a ribbon from North Rome Baptist Church's recent 150th Anniversary.

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