80 Pesos And A Thankful Heart by Travis Sharpe

One of the joys I have as the leader of our ministry is seeing the donations as they come in. This week I received one special donation and I want to share the story with you.

One of the very first areas in Bacolod City we started working in is a place called Barangay 16. This Barangay (village) is close to the ocean and it is filled with people. There are many squatters in this area. Squatters are people who are living on property that doesn’t belong to them. A squatter area is much like a homeless camp in the U.S.
The squatter area in Barangay 16 is very dirty and of course, very poor. There are entire families living there as well as individuals.
Not long after we arrived in Bacolod we met five young children who were sleeping on the streets. They live in this area with their mothers.  Each week we go to Barangay 16 and pick up a van load of people for church. There will usually be 5 to 6 adults and 6 to 9 children who come with us to the church services.
At the front of the little area where the families live, there is a tiny house made of various materials that were most likely collected from the streets or salvaged from the garbage.
The one room shack is about 8′ by 10′, much smaller than the average storage building in most backyards in America (including my own).
I first met the man who lives in this little shack several weeks ago. He told me he was a Christian the very first time we met. I’m still not sure where his church is but I see him as he is leaving and headed there every Sunday morning. The people we take to church are his neighbors.
Last Sunday morning, when I arrived to pick up our van riders, this man met me on the street out front and gave me 20 peso (about 50 cents) as a donation. I was really blessed by the fact that he wanted to give.
When I arrived this Sunday, (yesterday), He was waiting for me in the street again. He greeted me and handed me another donation along with a note. I thanked him for it and placed it in my pocket. I didn’t get it out and look at it until we arrived at the church.
When I pulled it out of my pocket, there was 80 pesos (about $2) and on the note was was a song. I have heard this song many times in my life. But this time, as I read it, it became very, very real to me.
The song, “Thank you Lord for your blessings on me”, sums it up real well. This man doesn’t have worldly possessions, but he has a heart to give. To the average onlooker it may seem as though he has been dealt a bad hand.
But I believe if we could see inside, like God can, we would see a man who loves God and has a heart to help his own neighbors.
From this humble 80 peso donation, I am once again reminded that it’s not how much money we have that makes us a giver, it’s the status of our heart.
Everyone can give, if they are thankful for what they have.
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