Leftover Loaves

by Peggy Cunningham @Inca_Writer

Long ago a little boy gave up his lunch. We gave away our time.

I will never forget the day when we offered to use our ham radio to make a call for a friend’s friend. It’s unforgettable because people keep reminding me of it even these thirty-three years later.

It was just an ordinary morning, business as usual at the mission house, as my husband prepared to dart out the door to meetings. Then came a call from a missionary friend: could he bring a friend over to talk with us? Nothing unusual about that except for another unusual request. His friend needed a favor. Would Chuck make a ham radio contact with a doctor in Brazil?

Our friend arrived with Fernando, and his sad story unfolded. His wife had a brain tumor. There were no doctors in Bolivia who could perform the surgery. Also, at the time, neither were there phone lines connecting the Amazon areas with the outside world. Thankfully, the weather conditions cooperated in connecting all parties. To our surprise, the doctor recommended a medication before surgery (which also didn’t exist in Bolivia) and agreed to send it. Weeks later, the medication completed, another scan of her brain revealed no tumor! A miracle!

We became good friends with Fernando and Charo. Together, we helped start a church in their house that now thrives with 200 members in a beautiful church building. We are more than friends. We are family and co-workers for the Kingdom. Last week, they came to visit with their youngest son and his fiancé. The conversation turned to the wedding. Jesse and Dyanna asked if we would be spiritual parents for their marriage––as we are for Jesse’s brother and sister also. It’s a custom in Bolivia offered to only closest relatives and friends. We were honored. And of course, we agreed!

There is another memorable day recorded in the Bible. Thousands of years later, we still remember when the sacrifice of a small lunch made a big difference.

Most likely, you’ve heard the story. A crowd of people needed lunch ––a crowd of 5,000 people. A little boy from the crowd stepped up. The disciples told Jesus, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9 NIV) Far enough that there were twelve baskets of leftovers after satisfying the hunger of a large crowd!

For us it was a simple ham radio call, but it turned into a long-lasting friendship and the beginning of a church––and a miracle healing.

Do you wonder what difference you can make for God’s kingdom? Nothing is too small for our big God to use! Do you think the small things you do won’t make a difference?

Will you step up to Jesus and offer him your small “lunch”? Just as the five barley loaves and two small fish were multiplied, so will God multiply our small gifts to Him, with more than enough leftovers to share.

TWEETABLE
Leftover Loaves: Nothing is too Small for Our Big God – insight from Peggy Cunningham, @Inca_Writer, on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Peggy CunninghamAbout the author: Peggy Cunningham and her husband, Chuck have been missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. Peggy is also an author. Her heart for children led the way to write the picture book series Really Rare Rabbits: Books 1-3.* If you’re looking for children’s books for Easter, these adorable rabbits tell the story of Jesus to Guarding the Inca Treasure Fires (The Really Rare Rabbits Series Book 1) by [Cunningham, Peggy]children in a unique and entertaining way. Books are available on Amazon. Find out more about Peggy at her website: www.PeggyCunningham.com

*also available in Spanish at  https://amzn.to/2SLGEyc

Join the conversation: What can you give that God could use in an unexpectedly big way?

How to Make a Lot Out of Little

By Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson

My friend retired from work at the same time the prices of her two insulins shot up. One jumped to an over $900 copay for a three-month supply and the other to over $1000. This leap in prices and dip in income tempted her to fret.

But Sandi chose to embrace this as a faith challenge. God knew her needs. How would He supply? Should she lower her monthly missionary support?

We all face problems that overwhelm our resources. John 6:1-14 shows how God uses such times to wow us.

“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do” (John 6:5-6 NIV).

Jesus asked this only to test Philip. I wonder how Jesus hoped Philip would respond.

When I imagined how faith might reply I pictured Philip turning a puzzled face to Jesus. As understanding dawned, with a twinkle, he’d say, “What do You have in mind, Lord? Do I detect a miracle?” But the real Philip looked at the crowd and said, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (John 6:7 NIV).

Even if they had been able to buy that much food, how would they transport it? The situation was impossible in every way. Andrew showed a spark of faith. “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish…” then looked at the other disciples and realized how ridiculous he sounded, “but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9 NIV).

The disciples couldn’t feed the crowd so, except for Andrew, they didn’t even look for options. When have you held back what you have because it wasn’t enough?

Jesus didn’t find Andrew silly. He took the boy’s lunch and told the disciples to have the people sit on the grass. He then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten” (Jn. 6:11-13)

It’s natural to evaluate a need in light of our resources. But God wants us to evaluate needs in light of His resources.

Sandi mentioned her retirement to her doctor who supplied her with free insulin for two years. When the doctor was unable to continue, Sandi asked us to pray with her about this.

In the meantime, Sandi added two more missionaries to her charitable giving. She texted me Sunday. The pharmacy charged her $5.00 for one of the insulins! “I can pay for that!” she said. “I will get a prescription for the more expensive one when I see the doctor. So, what else will God do?”

What problem dwarfs your human resources? Let’s bring Jesus what we have, thank Him for it, and trust Him to supply our needs. Lord Jesus, help us live with the joyful anticipation that comes from abiding in You. 

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.                                                                                                                   Philippians 4:19 NASB 

TWEETABLE
How to Make a Lot Out of Little – @DebbieWWilson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

debbie wilsonAbout the author: Debbie W. Wilson is an ordinary woman who has experienced an extraordinary God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie speaks, writes, and coaches to help women discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. She and her husband, Larry, founded Lighthouse Ministries in 1991. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog.

Join the conversation: How has God met a need you couldn’t supply?