I have to tell you, god works in not so mysterious ways sometimes!
The church I attend here in Bellingham Wa.( Cornwall Church) is a very active church that continually reaches out to many parts of the world through missions and volunteer work. We have lots of trips through out the world including Honduras, Mexico, Africa and other parts of the world where humanitarian work is needed.
A few weeks ago, during the Easter weekend services ( our church is about 4000 members strong and we have 3 services between sat./sunday) our pastor decided it was a great time to try out an idea. He decided that when it came time to contribute to the church or "pass the plate", every single penny was going to be given away to charitable causes.
Now, this being one of the biggest and most attended services of the year, Pastor Marvel was really hoping to collect close to $75,000 to give to charity. People attending were able to go online and pick from several needs that they wanted the money to go to. Some of the most voted for causes were AIDS in Africa, as well as simple things like drilling wells in Africa to supply villages with running water. There was also a few shelters here in the area that were popular causes voted on by the congregation.
As we learned a couple weeks ago what happened to the money, I am convinced that god doesn't just work in mysterious ways at all, he works in up front obvious ways just as well!
Pastor Marvel stated that during the service, he would go ahead and extend the time to contribute for the entire week, up until Thursday. He told us that the finance person told him monday that we had raised $87,000! Sounds good right? Well they remembered that they had given us until Thursday to contribute, on Wednesday, the finance person called the pastor and says they are up to $99,230. Our pastor joked that maybe someone could sell a kid or something to get to the magical $100,000 mark, LOL. So Thursday the mail comes and she called the pastor again and gives him the news..........$115,507.93!!!! They gave $44000 to programs for Aids and well in Africa and gave $44000 to local foodbank/women shelters here in Bellingham. The rest, they sealed single bills ( $1, $5, $10, $50) in individual envelopes and passed BACK to the congregation and said they could do what ever they wanted with the money, give it to charity, give it to the homeless etc.
Please pray for Pastor Bob Marvel and give thanks that he is teaching all of us that we can make a differance in so many lives through god!