One of the hats I wear at our church is the pastor of connection groups (aka small groups). And, I want to share a really cool story about a couple of our groups (well, it’s really a story about God).
Once upon a time in 2012, there were four families in southeast Asia who were in poverty. They worked hard all day, but lived on next to nothing and often went to bed hungry. They didn’t know God, but God knew them, and He saw their needs. He sent missionaries to the regions where these families lived and arranged circumstances such that these missionaries would meet and build relationships with the four Asian families. The missionaries shared the gospel with these families and looked for ways to help them. See, God was orchestrating it so that these impoverished families in Asia would have their physical and spiritual needs met.
So, God moved in the hearts of a number of young families living in Pontiac, IL, and worshiping together with Pontiac Bible Church. These families belonged to a couple of PBC’s Connection Groups, and they decided to work together under the banner of Advent Conspiracy. They each bought a few less Christmas gifts, and instead pooled their money to help those families in southeast Asia by donating valuable livestock through Gospel for Asia.
See, the idea behind Advent Conspiracy is to spend less and give more. Instead of buying a sweater that he won’t wear, or a toy that she doesn’t need, why not spend less on presents? The most valuable gift a person can give is time. So, these families bought less presents and instead spent more time than money. Then they gave the money they saved on presents to one of the pastors at PBC (that’s me!) and asked him to help those families in Asia.
And that’s just what he did. With over $1,300 to spend, that pastor sent a water buffalo, two cows, and a goat to the missionaries working for Gospel for Asia. Overjoyed, the missionaries got to give these livestock as late Christmas gifts to the four families God was looking out for. Through the missionaries, Gospel for Asia, and the Connection Groups at PBC, God gave the Asian families gifts that will provide food, labor, and income for years to come.
Isn’t God cool?