Today, rejoice with us about the work God is doing through a small church in Wyoming. Read about their “Coins for the Kingdom” ministry that has already raised money for a wide variety of Gift Catalog items!
Today’s challenge: Invite someone to attend church with you tomorrow.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” —Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Coins for the Kingdom
In 2006, my family moved to Wyoming from Brazil, where we had been missionaries for 10 years. Part of God’s call for me here was to help raise awareness and expose others to a more global perspective on life. In October of 2009, I sponsored my first child through World Vision.
Sometime between sponsoring Violet and September 2010, when I sponsored my second child, I read The Hole in our Gospel. God was doing something in me. I would have sponsored every child in the world if I could. A few months later, I received information on becoming a World Vision Child Ambassador. I began praying about that, but I must admit that I was nervous about taking that step.
In January 2011, my 22-year-old daughter and I went to the Passion Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and God did such deep work in me that I will never be the same. On one of those mornings, I was by myself and knew that I needed to read the book of Amos. I was struck that God’s judgments against both pagan nations and nations that were for human rights offenses.
I was deeply convicted. How many pairs of shoes do I have in my closet? How many pairs of jeans? How much have I spent on myself on things that I don't need, and how long have I had my head in the sand over the injustices in the world? I've never been an extravagant spender, but I had also never considered that I could be investing in things that matter to God.
As I was praying about all of this, the Coins for the Kingdom idea and slogan (“No Life is Insignificant; No Coin is Insignificant”) came to me. I got back to Casper, Wyoming, and told my husband (our pastor) what God was doing in me and how I felt like I needed to do more. I started the process of becoming a Child Ambassador and began the Coins for the Kingdom ministry the following Sunday.
My desire with "Coins" was to have something that constantly kept the needs of the world in front of us, something that could include the children and adults of the church. I also wanted our gifts to impact groups of people. During the next nine months, through World Vision’s Gift Catalog, we were able to dig a fish pond, provide school supplies, and help exploited girls, among other things.
I had also become a Child Ambassador, and God was providing sponsors for children.
Then, in November 2011, we suffered a life-altering event in our family. My husband and I went into a season of deep grief and he resigned from our church. I gave up my Child Ambassador position and asked one of my friends if she would consider taking over Coins for the Kingdom. This precious church family held us together and prayed us through a very dark season.
During this time, our interim pastor was trying to determine what ministries in the church were going well and which ones to end. I was able to share how “Coins” had begun and my heart for it, and he agreed that we should keep it going. Shortly after that time, I felt like I could pick it up again. We finished the goats and chickens campaign that my friend had begun, and doubled what we had asked for.
I began to pray about how we could breathe life back into "Coins.” I asked a couple of people if they thought we could raise enough between Christmas and Easter to dig a traditional well. One of my friends said that we could see what we could raise, and that she would match it! So the well campaign began. We showed some World Vision videos in our worship services, and we ended up with more than enough for two traditional wells, with a remainder going toward a deep well.
The last weeks leading up to Easter were exhilarating. Each Sunday, I announced how much we needed, and just like that we were over, so the next week I announced how much we needed for a second well, and then we had the second well! My husband preached the Easter message and tied the wells in with Jesus, the Living Water.
It was all very celebratory and we knew that God had allowed us to participate in something very significant. God did above and beyond what I could have imagined. I was blown away, and I wanted to share my joy with you so you can rejoice with us over what God is doing in a small church in Wyoming!
At the top: The Coins for the Kingdom collection box. (Photo: Luanne Marshall)
Featured from our Gift Catalog: Share of Nativity Animals! The shepherds found baby Jesus lying in a manger, surrounded by God's animals. What better way to celebrate the birth of Christ than to share those same animals so families can prosper! Your gift will provide a share of a donkey, a sheep, a goat, and two chickens to a family in need.