An Extravagant Gift of . . . Potatoes

I will never forget what I witnessed and participated in last week. Every year at our staff revival week, leadership chooses a project for us to raise money for. This year, they decided to collect funds to meet the needs of those in our ministry. The needs were numerous . . . someone needed a $10,000 medical device; others didn’t even have enough money for groceries; several would have to leave the ministry if they weren’t able to raise more monthly support, etc.

You’ve probably read that verse in Acts 2:45 that says, “And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” But have you seen it in action? I have!

Last week, the Life Action family—most of whom raise financial support—gave $133,000 in cash to meet each other’s needs . . . and that does not include the material items given that could double that amount, including motorcycles, cars, and homes. Here are just a few specific “giving” stories from the week:

  • One family gave the major portion of savings they had set aside to someday own their own home and have a real vacation. They gave over $19,000.
  • Another couple (with young children) was led to try to sell their home in hopes they can find an elderly couple or widow with whom they could help take care of, live with, and bless.
  • One single woman gave $10,000. She had been saving the money to bless her future husband, but was excited about learning to trust and depend on Jesus for her needs more fully.  
  • Another single woman was led to go to the home of a family to offer child care and provide the money necessary for the couple to have a cup of coffee together every week . . . something the wife had just finished praying for!

But the most impactful gift, in my opinion? A wife and mom of a large family with little income stood apologetically before us, offering her all—a  garden harvest of treasured potatoes—the crop her family usually enjoyed and depended on all winter long.  

Maybe to you this all sounds strange, crazy . . . wasteful. Why would anyone give their savings and possessions—especially during such uncertain economic times—leaving themselves with almost nothing?  

I think it has a whole lot to do with this:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).


In light of the offering that was collected, our executive director, Byron Paulus, encouraged us to prepare for the greatest ministry season ever:

 “What if there is a direct connection between what we give materially and what the Lord gives in return by way of true riches . . . of His mercy, grace, and love? Luke 16:11 makes it clear that if we are faithful with money, He will entrust to us true riches. If this is what Scripture teaches (and it is), then we had better . . . get ready for the greatest ministry season ever!”

(Bring it on, Lord!)

PS: Giving money isn’t the only way to give . . . the Sullivan family (on staff with Life Action) adopted Andrei from a Russian orphanage years ago. Last month, The New York Yankees reunited Andrei with a boyhood friend from Baby House 10. Their story will bring tears to your eyes!

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About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula has served with Revive Our Hearts for twelve years. She is the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. There's nothing she loves to share more than the gospel-centered truths that have so transformed her own life: what it means on a daily basis to be "dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus." Paula, Trevor, and their son, Iren, make their home in New York.

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