Member, Laurie, describes the process of determining how to utilize the $100 handed to her in church.
“Things were just fine, for the most part. I was living a comfortable life. And then I raised my hand in church. I have a feeling that my life changed at that moment in ways I haven’t yet even begun to perceive.
On January 16, as a part of “The Almighty’$ Dollar” Series at church, Richard Kannwischer challenged 20 volunteers by handing them a $100 dollar bill telling them basically to “Pay it forward for God”. Standing up on the dais with the other volunteers, I smiled, but I was thinking, what have I got myself into now?
As one of the “Frozen Chosen”, a long-time Presbyterian, I could feel the lever under my comfortable seat prodding me to launch into this sure-to-be-exciting venture with God. My armchair days were narrowing. I decided right from the start not to worry—God’s money, God’s project. Have fun and take a lesson.
So what to do with a hundred dollars? Better pray about this one. They’ll be asking questions and they know where I live.
A Clue. I facilitate a women’s Bible study where we are studying the life of Joseph—the one with the amazing coat. The big lesson has been that God is very involved in the timing and details of his plans. Mostly imperceptible to us, his servants, these plans get carried out in a variety of ways, taking us on detours we never expected. As a follower of Jesus, I knew the plan lay right in front of me; all I had to do was look.
My first step. A couple of weeks before the challenge, I had lunch with a friend who works at The Seed Company. I’d heard about this outfit before and knew it was staffed with highly committed and mature Christians who got things done with intelligence and integrity. I knew about Wycliffe, their parent company, sending missionaries out for almost 70 years translating the Bible into the myriad and multiple languages of the world. In 2004, I traveled to Malawi, Africa, and will never forget the joy on the faces of the children carrying around their own Bibles in the Chichewa language. I got to thinking, why not The Seed Company? Bible translation: accelerated. Being on the leading edge of the Great Commission appealed to me. (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:17, Mark 13:10)
Affirmation. I mentioned it to one of my co-teachers and she committed to match my $100 right away. And then some unexpected cash came to another friend and she matched the $100 as well. God’s money, God’s project, I reminded myself. I mentioned it to my Covenant Group and my Bible Study, and the enthusiasm started to build. I was on my way.
Remembering. In 1981-1985 Jake and I lived in Saudi Arabia. He was on a business trip in Papua New Guinea and called home to tell me he was with these little people who had never seen a wheel before. Imagine. Fluor built the pipeline bringing oil from the field to an offshore terminal. As the Fluor team cut its way through the jungle they were challenged by primitive peoples faced with modern technology for the first time. From village to village the people were wary because they couldn’t easily communicate with each other much less the foreigners now filling their forest pathways. It was a challenge to keep the peace during that project. Fast-forward 30 years. These people have heard the Word of God, but they desire the printed Scriptures in their own language. I keep ten Bibles in various English translations. How about you?
Stepping Out. I met with people at The Seed Company and learned they have well-developed programs to help interested individuals and churches get plugged in with a people group so they can see the effects of what happens when these remote and isolated peoples get the Word of God in their heart language. I realized that this could be a project that would change the world forever. The Scriptures are God’s Word, and his Word lives forever. Thus, once a language receives its Bible translation, it will stand forever in God’s Eternal Kingdom.
Pay It Forward. This is an opportunity to become a Kingdom builder, no matter what the depth of your resources. I am asking you to think and pray about this and consider if you would like to join this exotic adventure with me as we partner with a people identified by The Seed Company as a strategic area for translation. The country more diverse than anywhere else in the world with over 830 indigenous languages, a country of nearly 8 million people, is Papua New Guinea. A little larger than California, but with only 1 fifth of our population, they acknowledge approximately 1 heart language for every 10,000 people.
Our Project at St. Andrew’s. The church in Papua New Guinea lacks the solid foundation of mother tongue Scriptures. There are several projects in progress waiting for assistance and the people in Papua New Guinea are hungry for God’s Word. The Seed Company is currently identifying a particular project for us and I can let you know where we land.
Different Ways to Give.
· You can pray for the Papua New Guinean people and their translators. This is vital. Go online to http://www.theseedcompany.org/ and search under Papua New Guinea. You can commit to be a prayer partner and they will send you information about the people and the project.
· You can make a one-time gift of any amount, but $26 is a really good number, because with that amount, you can know that one verse of the Bible will be translated into the mother tongue for waiting believers. You can write a check to The Seed Company: SAPC-PNG Project, 3000 W. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 440, Santa Ana, CA 92704.
I have determined that The Seed Company is a team I can be associated with for life. I’d like to heighten the awareness our congregation and other followers of Jesus about the world changing work of The Seed Company.
While my husband and I once traveled the world for the Fluor Corporation, bringing infrastructure and economic opportunities to the people of the Middle and Far East, now we are proud to partner with The Seed Company. We are convinced that Bible translation brings positive spiritual, economic and cultural change to each area served by The Seed Company and their array of partners. The power of the Scriptures delivered to a people in their own language transforms them and sets them on the road to abounding blessings, where they in turn can be a blessing to us.”
Click Here to listen to the current sermon series, “The Almighty’$ Dollar.”