Friday, October 14, 2016

Widow's Mite? Mighty Widows!

Do you remember the story of the widow's mite? A couple of weeks ago, my friend Erika led a women's Bible study on this (Mark 12:41-44). Erika's the one with short hair and glasses. Our friend Alina translated for her. She's the one with reddish hair and bluejeans. The rest of the ladies, the ones with long hair, really long skirts, and--if they're old married ladies--head scarves, live in this Romany village in the Republic of Moldova.

Sister Galia with her gifts
Some of these ladies cannot read. But they can listen. They listened to the story of the widow's mite in the Moldovan national languages (Russian and Romanian) and their own language, Ursari Romani. Did hearing the story in their own language drive it deeper into their hearts. Because we saw that these sisters not only listen to Jesus' words--they put those words into action.

The first day, we provided refreshments. The next day one of the ladies showed up early with a bottle of soft drink and a box of deluxe cookies to share! She gave gladly, but definitely not out of an abundance of wealth.
Maria with her gift
A week later another lady, Maria, also gladly gave. Erika, Alina, and Els (another team member) were all staying in the village. The weather turned cold, and they had also all gotten sore throats and bad colds. Maria had gone to the forest to collect fallen sticks and tree limbs to fuel her wood heater. No central heating, no indoor plumbing--Maria lives a labor-intensive life. Still, she made time to gather fresh rose hips for Erika, Els, and Alina. Vitamin C! The women immediately began picking out the seeds and eating the tart fruit.
As Jesus also told us, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” What a privilege to see His words put into action!

Recorded in the Gospel of John 12:35, NIV