The Story: In the state of Mizoram in northeast India, Christian women set aside a handful of rice every time they cook a meal. The weekly collection of rice is then given to the local church where it is sold and used to support missions.
Although the per capita income in the area is only $400 per year, the collections by the churches are having a significant impact. For example, in 2007 the Mizoram Presbyterian Synod Mission Board was able to support more than 1,700 full-time workers and give $4.9 million to world evangelism efforts.
The Background: This video explains how Christians in the economically insignificant Indian state are able to have a considerable impact on world missions.
Why It Matters: In Jesus' day, the Jews were instructed to give to the Temple and to the poor as part of their service to God. Yet it was a poor widow who gave two mites that Jesus praised for having "put more into the treasury than all the others." The others gave out of their wealth, but she gave out of her poverty.
Jesus never said that the widow shouldn't have given because she had little to spare. Instead, he praised her obedience. If the poor woman in first-century Palestine and the poor women in twenty-first century India can cheerfully give out of what they have, then how much more can those of us in temporary financial straights---the starving artist, the penniless college student, the struggling young parents---give of our abundance?
(Via: Outside the Camp)
[Note: If you find a story our community should know about, please send the link to joe.carter *at* thegospelcoalition.org.]