Monday, June 22, 2009

The Gift of an Engagement Ring

by Jeff & Mary Ann Anderson Missionaries with ACTION Philippines

Several years ago, Doug Nichols preached at Christ Commission Fellowship, a large church in Metro Manila, and mentioned the need of a former street girl who wanted to study Social Work and serve kids who grew up on the streets like she did.

Jenelyn was rescued from the streets by the staff of the Papa John Center several years ago. She wanted to follow in the footsteps of Gemma, the director of the Papa John Center and her mentor. However, the Papa John Center and Jenelyn did not have the funds to put her through this three-year course.

Doug mentioned this need during his message. After the service, a note and ring were given to Doug with instructions to sell the ring a sacrificial gift to the Lord to help Jenelyn. The note read as follows:

Pastor Doug, I never felt this strong command from the Lord - enclosed in this envelope is my engagement ring that is worth P23,000 ($500). The Lord is telling me to give what is precious to me and I can say that this ring is my wealth - I don't have money to give you but this. I also am poor and I am being blessed by the Lord through my fiancé, Andrew. I am surrendering this ring that will serve its greatest purpose and that is to send a child to school. All glory and honor to our Lord God and Most High!! My fiancé agreed to give this to you because he too was touched by the message of the Lord. - Mary

Later, someone heard of Mary's sacrificial gift and was so moved that the individual donated the price of the ring so it could be returned to her. We returned Mary’s precious ring to her and thanked her for obediently following the Lord and inspiring others to do the same. In my thank-you note to Mary, I encouraged her with Hebrews 10:24, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”

Initial funds were given and Jenelyn was able to start school. We continue to trust the Lord for her total education which is approximately $11,903 for a 3 1/2 year course.

Mary gave what was precious to her to help someone whom she did not know, when she herself had very little. At a ladies’ church meeting, my wife, Mary Ann, gave the following challenge, "Are you willing to give up a manicure, day at the spa, or café latté so a street child can get an education, receive food and shelter, and have an opportunity to hear the Gospel?"

Think and pray about Mary Ann's challenge.

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