As 2019 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the blessings, growth, challenges and lessons we’ve learned at Rapha International over the past year. This year-end blog series is dedicated, not to the large achievements and show-stopping miracles that took place this year, but to the quieter moments that continue to take my breath away and keep me picking up my sword to fight another day.
Five Bucks and the Widow’s Mite
One of my favorite parts of my role with Rapha is that I get to travel and speak on behalf of the girls we serve and to witness their stories inspiring freedom in others. I truly love to meet new people and connect with our partners and therefore, I am not a speaker who leaves directly after stage time, but rather I am normally the last one out before they turn off the lights. After all, I might miss meeting someone really cool!!
After one of my speaking events this past year, I noticed a young woman standing at the back of the auditorium. As I finished with the last person who was waiting to speak to me, she cautiously approached. “People don’t know my story,” she told me, “but it is similar to what you shared about the Rapha girls. I spent some years trapped in prostitution, but I’m free of that now.” Quietly, she went on to tell me that although her trauma is still fresh, she is on a healing journey, and that one day she would like to use her voice and story of freedom to help other girls and women receive freedom too.
Pressing five dollars into my hand, she said, “I’m a single mom and this is all I have right now… but I want to give something to be part of this work.”
Friends, I am emotional even as I recall and write her words. This will forever be one of the most precious gifts we will receive on behalf of the girls we serve. It reminded me of the story told in Luke 21:1-4 about the widow who gave all she had and how her gift was greatly valued because of its sacrificial nature.
Before we parted, I asked this young woman if it would be alright if I gave her a hug. She hesitated momentarily before nodding her approval. Later, she wrote to me, “Your hug was scary, but I knew that God was saying- daughter, you are loved and you are enough.”
In moments like this one, when a gift comes from a place so sacrificial and precious, I am convicted concerning the faithfulness of the Lord. He is always going to show up to meet the needs of His daughters.
As this year draws to a close, we invite you to remember Rapha International in your year-end giving. Your support means the world to the children we serve...
It’s not too late to make a year-end gift to Rapha International. You can lock in your charitable deductions for 2019 by donating on or before December 31.
There are even more ways to give. 2019 is a great year to donate stocks or other assets that have increased in value, which may be exempt from capital gains taxes.