The ‘Orphans’ Mite
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44 New Living Translation
The meaning of this familiar story was demonstrated beautifully by the young orphanage leavers in Ryazan who were blessed with footwear and clothing gift vouchers.
Orphanage leavers really do have nothing. Each time we visit it is not hard to notice familiar faces wearing the same familiar clothes - not because they’re wearing their favourite outfits but because they have nothing else to change into.
With the vouchers from LR, Mentor Luba kindly took the young people on a fun day out for an experience they’ve never had before - Shopping! Like normal teenagers they were able to try on clothes with the option to actually buy some! Luba even treated them to a McDonalds as part of their special day.
The vouchers worth £30 each were not huge but with a bit of careful planning they were able to buy several things they needed; t-shirts, underwear, gloves etc. One of the girls did not have a coat and with temperatures hovering around 00, it was top of her list of what to buy with her clothing voucher. She had her eye on a nice pink winter coat but the voucher was not quite enough. Without any prompting or suggestion from Luba, each of the other girls decided that if they spent a little less on things they needed for themselves, their friend could afford the coat she had her heart set on.
Such kindness from young people willing to give away what little they had. Luba was very proud of them and couldn’t wait to pass on how they had behaved.
A lesson for all of us that everything we have is a gift. If needed, are we prepared to give it away?