Read: Luke 21:1-4
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us . . . if it is giving, then give generously. (Romans 12:6, 8 NIV)
We were new missionaries, having lived among the Tzeltals only six months. Francisco Gomez, the Tzeltal pastor, had planned a six-week missionary trip to the lowland area of the tribe. We were thrilled when he said we could go with him. There was no better way to learn the language and culture of the Tzeltals.
At that time these Mayan-descended people had so little. They were subsistence farmers, living in dirt-floored, thatch-roofed huts. But on our entire trip, never once were we hungry.
One day we were stopped on the trail by a Christian who begged us to come into her humble home for refreshment. Her husband had found a beehive. She had boiled chunks of golden brown squash in honey and offered each of us a bowl of this rare treat. The Tzeltals seldom had sweets to enjoy, yet she eagerly shared with her visitors.
Another day, we were served chicken stew in five different homes. Everyone wanted to feed us. The Tzeltals themselves rarely ate chicken. Their eggs and chickens were their only source of cash for salt, soap, and medicine.
Their generosity was made all the more beautiful by their poverty. This was another lesson for us: to give as generously from our abundance as the Tzeltals had out of their poverty. —Helen Hofman
As you pray, ask God to show you how you can give abundantly out of what you have been given.