JustCause Journal - Volume 2
As we enter into another season of giving and thanks, we wanted to share a story from our time in Uganda this past February which fits directly within this theme. Our hope is you are able to take some perspective from this story and apply it to your life in whatever manner you best see fit. Whether big or small, a little bit of giving can go a long way. Read on in Volume 2 of the JustCause Journal to see how our perspective on life and giving was changed.
One of the really cool things we got to witness during our time in Soroti was how they “do” church in a small village in Uganda. The service starts with worship, which is scheduled for an hour, but many times goes for much longer with other spontaneous moments of song throughout. It didn’t take long to break us in. We were dripping in sweat during the first service because of the expressive tribal-like dancing and exuberant singing. Next comes the message. Always deep, thoughtful, and directly from the bible. Testimonials follow after. We were brought to tears multiple times listening to how God moved within people’s lives.
Finally, the offering. Now here is when something really special happened on a particular Sunday morning. The offering is taken in a slightly different manner than how most of us have experienced it here in the US. Instead, all of the offerings, whether monetary or not, are brought to the front and placed in and around the offering basket. When the offering time concludes, any non-monetary item is auctioned off by the pastor to the congregation.
On this particular morning, a gentleman brought up a bag of 15-20 citrus fruits. Pastor Joseph started the auction at $5,000 shillings (1 US dollar = 3,640 Ugandan Shillings). A woman raised her hand. “Seven thousand,” she said quietly. “Eight thousand,” spoke another gentleman. “We have eight thousand, how about ten?” Pastor Joseph relayed. “Ten!” shouted a man opposite the aisle from us. Along with the three of us from Minnesota, he was part of another missionary group from the East Coast. “Twenty!” we countered with. Quickly, they came right back with “Forty!” “Oh my, we have forty thousand shillings!” exclaimed Pastor Joseph. “Do we have fifty?!” Without much hesitation we yelled “fifty!” By this time, the congregation had crescendoed to a loud buzz excited to see how the auction would end. “I have fifty going once. Fifty going twice. SOLD for fifty thousand shillings!” An eruption of cheer and joy filled the air as we went up to receive our bag of fruit. It was the best $13.73 we had ever spent.
Once the auction had concluded, Pastor Joseph addressed the congregation while reflecting on what had just happened. “Here’s a man with little money to bring to the offering. However, he brought what he had and look at what God turned it into. These $50,000 shillings will go a long way in supporting this community ($6-7 dollars a day is the average income for a skilled laborer in Uganda. Essentially, the man gave TWO DAYS worth of income). God bless you,” he closed. In this moment, we were struck by a new found perspective on life and giving.
Though we all come from different backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, parts of the world, etc., the foundation of giving remains the same. Whether it’s two hours of your time, a pair of socks for the homeless, or two days worth of income, there are few better feelings than knowing you made an impact to better someone else’s life or the surrounding community. It’s human nature. So as we head to the mall or shop online for gifts, let’s be reminded of this story and think of ways in which we can also give our time, money, and love to those that may be less fortunate.
If you feel compelled to support our mission financially or through your talents, please reach out to us directly through our website.
With love and gratitude,
The JustCause Team