How You Can Make It Happen Like The Widows

I have a confession to make.  I’m an addict.  A coffee addict.

I’m also kind of a coffee snob.  I mean if it was up to me my church would serve freshly ground, dark roast, Arabica bean coffee in a French press after service every Sunday.

Well, about a year ago and a half ago, my love for coffee led me to the website of an organization called Three Avocados, a nonprofit coffee company in Missouri.

I began reading about it, and the more I read the more excited I became.  You see, this is no ordinary coffee company as you may suspect from its name – Three Avocados.

The thing is their name has nothing to do with coffee.  But it has everything to do with Three Avocados’ purpose, which is to provide clean drinking water to people in Uganda.

How it all began

The story of Three Avocados begins in the humble village of Bulopa, Uganda.  Bulopa, like many other village there, is very remote and extremely poor.

There is a small church there that amounts to nothing more than a few sticks in the ground and some benches.  A group of people on a mission trip had been invited to worship with the people of Bulopa.

As the offering basket was passed around, a poor widow placed three avocados in the basket. It was literally all the food she had.

You see, in Uganda, the pastors don’t receive any pay. The food they eat is given through the offering as they visit different villages. That widow had given all she had to ensure someone else could eat. Talk about faith.

The widow’s offering

It was that simple gift that inspired the visitors. They left Uganda brainstorming ways to ensure the poor throughout the world are cared for and are never forgotten.  And thus Three Avocados was born.

The widow gave all she had.  Sound familiar perhaps?

If you’ve read the story of the widow’s offering in the gospel of Mark, it should.

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.

42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small cooper coins, a worth only a fraction of a penny. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)

Yes, the widow made it happen.

Question: How are you making it happen?

Friday Video – I Like Giving

It’s Friday Video time!  Last week, I shared my favorite video from the band, Walk Off The Earth.

This week we’re switching from music to giving.  Some time last year I learned about ILikeGiving.com, which, in their words is “…a campaign to inspire generous living. It is a collection of stories from around the world about people who have done the unexpected without expecting anything in return.”

Many of the stories are told through videos that are incredibly moving and beautifully produced. 

Here’s one my favorites called “I Like iPad.”  It tells the story of a young woman who gives up something for a child with autism. And it is powerful. Click the play button below.  If it won’t play, click here.

Mark and the farmer

The farmer’s market was probably the busiest Mark had seen it all summer.  As he stood there in line, waiting to pay for the ten tomatoes he had carefully selected from the bunch, the owner of the stand approached him.

Gene was in his late sixties and dressed in worn, light-denim overalls and a large straw hat that had seen better days. His skin was tanned and weathered from years of farming in the sun.

“Back for more toms I see!  What do you plan to make with those this time?” Gene asked with a big smile.

“I’m not sure yet,” Mark, a wealthy local banker replied, “but probably a sauce of some sort.  We may just cut some up and eat them by themselves.”

“That sounds really nice,” Gene said, sitting a crate of cucumbers on the table, “even for those leftovers.”

Mark’s eyes widened a bit.  “What do you mean leftovers?  These are perfect.  It took me quite a while to pick through them all to find the best ones you have.”

Gene let out a small laugh, looked up at Mark, and pointed at the wooden sign hanging behind him.

“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9

“What you buy here isn’t the best I’m afraid,” Gene said.  “We give those away.”

Mark stared at him with a stunned expression. “So, how much are we talking about here?  Fifty? One-hundred tomatoes?”

“Oh, goodness no!” Gene quickly replied.  “I’d say more like a thousand.”

“One-thousand?” Mark burst out.  “Why in the…?  Do you give that much away from everything you grow?”

“We sure do.  Been doing it for going on 40 years now.  We don’t miss it really.  And it sure does help a lot of people.”

Mark stood there calculating, shaking his head.  “I just don’t see how you could possibly stay in business when you give away so much of your product.”

“I don’t know for sure,” Gene said.  “You’d have to ask the Boss.  I just work here.”

————–

How are you using your job or business to help others? 

Does your business produce more product, provide extra services or donate money because it’s the right thing to do?