A Real Sacrifice


“Toys! Toys for a quarter!” the child cried out. Soon neighbors came to find out what the little boy was shouting about, and a “grass-roots” fund raising campaign had begun.

May was Great Commission Month at our Alliance church, and we were given boxes in which to collect our spare change for the Great Commission Fund, which supports missionaries around the world. When Lori picked up her children, Seth, six, and Sophia, three, from children’s church, they were excited about the presentation of the boxes.

On the way home, Lori could hear the children talking about their possessions, but she didn’t pay much attention to what they were saying—she was intent on driving. At one point, though, Seth asked how to spell “toys.”

When the family arrived home, Lori went into the bedroom to change clothes, and the children implemented the plan they had been hatching in the back seat. Seth and Sophia made signs that said “TOYS—25 cents.” They had also taken their big basket of toys and placed it in the front yard on a small table they had carried from their room. Included in the sale items were Seth’s prized Buzz Lightyear action figure and Sophia’s dearly loved stuffed kitty.

At first no one came, so Seth began to call out. When the neighbors were shown the box and realized what was happening, they brought jars of spare change and bought toys. Sophia had a hard time letting go of the kitty. It was her constant companion, and she didn’t know what she would do without it. But if God wanted it, she reasoned, it was His. Though she would put her hand near it or on it when people came to buy, she did not take the toy off the table.

The neighbors understood. Instead of buying the children’s most precious toys, they bought the many small items that Seth and Sophia had collected from kid’s meals in fast-food restaurants. The children had the toy sale for two days and raised nearly 40 dollars.

Many of us tossed into the GCF boxes our “spare” change that was no sacrifice to us. But how many of us are really willing to give up our most prized possessions for the Lord and His work? Yet that is our Alliance heritage. Many of us have heard stories of Alliance believers long ago who placed gold watches and other jewelry on the altar. Maybe special toys are the equivalent of jewels to small children.

Maybe these little children are a real example to all of us.

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