It’s Second Sunday! For Church of God of Prophecy attendees internationally, we know what that means: It’s time to joyfully receive the offering for the Missions Department and send it to the International Offices to support our missionaries!
At Roberts Tabernacle Church of God of Prophecy in Westmoreland, Tennessee, there’s an additional meaning. It means toddlers and children line the front pews with tiny baskets. It means a guaranteed twirled dress or a picked nose before the real action begins. It means that as ushers go down the aisles, the basket-wielding kids wait for Sister Cathleen Douglas to give them the sign. It feels like the countdown for a rocket ship blastoff! When the sign is given, the kids follow the ushers. They use the “Gleaner” philosophy to collect change from the congregation for the One Child Fund Rwanda Orphanage. They use every advantage known by children everywhere—including the puppy-dog eyes and wide smile—that will melt hearts and open change purses. When I was their pastor, I kept a Ziploc bag in my purse for the entire month and made sure to drop all change from every purchase in it. Who wants to be that pastor—standing there with nothing to give while tiny hands hold empty baskets in front of you?
As you can imagine, the collected change adds up! These great kids, under visionary leadership, have raised almost $3,000 in one year for their “brothers and sisters” in Rwanda! What those hands carrying baskets don’t realize is that they are fulfilling the commandment of caring for the littlest, the loneliest, and the lost—bringing hope to them in the form of food, water, shelter, and clothing!
What a blessing to serve with Sister Douglas and others who have creative vision and have mentored these kids for over a decade to become mission leaders. Who knows what these kids will do for God in the coming years? Some of them already say they are called to be missionaries and plan on moving to various places all over the world; others participate in the local food bank preparing boxes and giving out food to the hungry in the community. God is calling our children to have a heart for missions, whether it’s in their community or abroad. Will you help Him make opportunities for their hearts to grow and their tiny hands to bless others? Please give your best gift on Second Sunday to reach the littlest, the loneliest, and the lost.