Submitted By Roland Maust, Millersburg, Ohio
What could you do with ten dollars? Buy a book at the local bookstore? Eat lunch at a fast food restaurant, maybe catch a matinee at a movie theater down the street?
How about battling teen depression? Or building a house on Rwanda? Or fixing a cleft palate in Vietnam?
Those are exactly the kind of things that one Grace Brethren Church did with ten dollars in the first three months of 2007.
It started as a challenge the last Sunday of 2006. Pastor Roland Maust and the elders of the Grace Brethren Church of Millersburg, Ohio, wanted to encourage the members of the congregation to “think outside the box” and start to minister on their own.
So, on December 31, the church gave money back to the congregation. Forty-eight people each took ten dollars and made a commitment to use the money to invest in a ministry for God. There were seven guidelines:
- This is God’s money — I’ll not misuse it.
- I’ll match God’s $10 with my own $10.
- I may combine my money with that of other members of the congregation.
- I’ll sign a commitment to use this money for God.
- I’ll invest in an existing ministry or to begin a ministry of my own.
- I’ll publicly share how God used this money at the end of three months.
- I’ll return the $10 if I cannot use it for God.
Sunday, April 15, was the celebration service that revealed what God had done through all those individual ten dollar bills.
Two families reached out to minister on a worldwide scale.
One family with a relative ministering with Global Family Rescue in Rwanda threw a pasta dinner for the church, collecting donations to help feed and house widows and orphans of the genocidal civil war there. Together they raised $345.
Then their daughter made bracelets with her ten dollars, selling them in order to buy a house for a Rwandan widow and her children.
Another family is selling framed photography of Ireland in order to raise money for a Christian conservation ministry in Portugal.
Several of the women used their ten dollars to buy knitting supplies.
One is knitting sweaters for Knit for Kids, an international ministry to cloth destitute children around the world.
Another lady started a ministry called “A Warm Welcome.” She will knit scarves throughout the year, then give them away this winter as a free and unexpected gift to people she encounters — the clerk at the discount store, the waitress, the bank teller — as an opportunity for her to share the free and unexpected gift of Jesus Christ.
Some folks used their ten dollars for medical missions.
Several families banded together to support Operation Smile, a medical mission that provides craniofacial surgery where medical care is almost nonexistent. A nurse in the congregation told people at the nursing home where she worked about “$10 for Jesus” and together they raised $320 for open heart surgery through Samaritan’s Purse. The fund is ongoing, with money continuing to come in.
A teen is hand-making braided bracelets to raise awareness of teen depression. The proceeds will help fund depression research.
Others gave to feed people around the world.
The youth director and his family sold candy bars, with proceeds going to 30 Hour Famine, an international youth movement to fight hunger. From the money raised, they are buying more candy bars for the youth to sell to raise funds for the project, and they have given the original $10 back to the church.
Several families supported Feed the Children, an organization that distributes food to families in need. As a result of existing challenges at Feed the Children, they were able to provide more than 40,000 meals.
And then there were the folks who made things for local ministries.
Pastor Roland Maust distributed Prayer Coins (quarters with crosses painted on them). Every time people pull out a handful of change, it reminds them to pray for three things: 1) 25 new believers this year, 2) 25 new attenders at the church, and 3) that God would meet the financial needs of the church in the four quarters of 2007.
One extended family bought supplies for Village Grace Mission Center, a ministry in Cleveland. It took two separate van trips to transport all the food items, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and miscellaneous supplies to the Slavic Village area of the city, where Rich and Reida Bartley minister.
Several families banded together to make crosses from horseshoe nails. These beautiful crosses were distributed to the congregation with one stipulation — they are to be given away to someone you are praying for. Each cross comes with a simple presentation about what Jesus did for us on the cross, and an invitation to come to church.
Missionaries, the local seasonal Share-A-Christmas, encouragement cards to people in depression counseling, Bible translation projects, local men’s prayer breakfasts — the creativity of folks in the congregation was simply mind-boggling.
So what could you do with ten dollars? Why don’t you find out what God can do through you and your money.