I overheard someone the other day say, “A penny is worthless!” I thought about what they were saying and I started to relate. I thought about the penny really not having much value monetarily, and it certainly isn’t the cleanest of coins. Worse yet, the room this little coin takes up for having so little value is ridiculous! “Wow!” I thought, “They are right!”
Then I started to think…I started to go deeper. Is a penny really worthless?
I am blessed to be in a position to be able to talk with ministries that work in and outside of the United States. As these ministries are working on behalf of the destitute, the stories I hear are often heartbreaking. I struggle to grasp the number of parents in the world who are literally watching their kids die in their arms.
Are you a parent? Can you imagine the hopelessness and agony these parents feel? Most of us cannot. Our reality is different. But can you think about the times that there has been a minor injustice done to one of your kids or loved ones? Maybe the coach did not give your child enough playing time or another child unapologetically cut in line in front of your child. How did you feel? A little worked up… possibly angry. But, consider the hearts of the parents who cannot provide adequate food and clothing for their kids due to circumstances beyond their control who helplessly watch their children suffer and die.
We get caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle in the States, in Europe and in luxurious parts of Asia, etc., don’t we? We are busy going from place to place, trying to squeeze more time in the day, and worrying over things that, in ten days, ten weeks, ten months, or ten years will likely not matter at all. This is not what God intended for his most precious creation – us. God designed us to love one another and He commanded us to love one another. In this state of loving, we are at our best, but, unfortunately, much is at work in our world to drive us further inward and insulated from others in our communities. We focus on how we can do more for ourselves, rarely reflecting on God’s truest desire for us. So, what does the penny have to do with this problem?
I have watched people drop a penny, watch it land, stare at it for a moment, and then move on with their day.
A penny, what is it worth? Ask the masses in Africa who are dying from AIDS, cannot feed their kids, and have no home and you may see that just a handful of pennies means a lot. Ask the starving lowest caste in India, the orphans in Latin America, or the victims of land mines in Afghanistan and other war-torn countries. You will find your penny to be a rich blessing.
Relentless Pursuit Ministries is partnered with other ministries that work night and day to turn pennies into life-saving commodities in the lives of desperate people through solutions like these:
Food – For only eight dollars, you can feed a child for a month. For $32-$45 you can completely take care of a child for a month. Can you believe that eight dollars can save a precious child’s life?
Malaria is devastating Africans, but there is an easy and affordable way to get this problem under control. The cost to manufacture, ship and distribute a life-saving malaria net is only ten dollars. There is a medicine derived from artemisinin, an extract from a traditional Chinese herbal remedy, that is very effective in treating cases of the disease, at a cost of about a dollar per treatment.
Water. Diarrhea kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. 884 million people in the world use unimproved sources for drinking water, the biggest consequence of which is the rampant burden of diarrhoeal diseases. Unclean water is a major source of disease and death in Sub-Saharan Africa. For only five dollars we can provide one person with a portable microbiological water filter that has a high flow rate, that will last for one year.
What would happen if only a small percentage of Americans decided to take their pennies at the end of the month and give it away to the suffering? That would change everything wouldn’t it? Do you think that might rub off on other parts of the world? Could just a few pennies from people make the world a better place? The answer is a resounding yes.
So let me ask the inevitable question. Do you have pennies? Are those pennies valuable to you? God is faithful but he requires our obedience. He will take those pennies and change lives, but this is what has to happen: we have to take action! God requires action on our parts, and he rewards us accordingly. Start talking to your church, friends, and neighbors about the incredible value of a penny. Start a “A Penny is Hope” campaign in your community! Say “enough is enough” and start making a difference. Remember they are only pennies. From here on out, let’s look at pennies in a different way.
What is a penny? Is a penny a little coin that has no value? No! A penny is a home…a penny is food to eat… a penny is proper health care…school…life…a chance… A PENNY IS HOPE!
If you are interested in our A Penny is Hope campaign, you can get in touch with us on our contact page, and we will gladly provide you with more information.
Looking forward through Christ –
Stephen John Spivey