There was a cost associated with this retreat and when I went to pay (online registration is the BEST) there was a box where you could enter a dollar amount to contribute to scholarships for those in our church for whom the cost would make the retreat impossible. It struck a chord with me and after checking with Silas (yay for budgeting!) I doubled the amount due so I could cover the cost of the retreat for someone else.
I bring this up not to pat myself on the back. Not to brag about how much money we have or how generous we are. I mention this small thing because I have spent more than half of my life being on the receiving end of such gifts. And it is hard to convey the joy I have in finally being able to pass this blessing on.
Our family was dirt poor when I was growing up. My mom was a single mom of four children. My father, a soldier, was out of the country for most of the year. And when I needed things, people in our church frequently paid for them. People gave us scholarships for 4h trips and homeschool field trips. Adventures to the roller dome, the water park, and the bowling alley. To movies, the zoo, even the lame and overpriced museum in our small town.
As I look back on my childhood I realize how many things my friends' moms paid for that I didn't even notice at the time. And I remember the money that would show up in our mailbox with no return address. And the boxes of food that would appear on our doorstep. And the bags of clothes and shoes. I remember the people who would invite us out to eat after church and then pay for our meal.
You know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your money was not wasted and it is bearing fruit.
Freely you have received. Freely give.
- Matthew 10:8
- Matthew 10:8