In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive.” ACTS 20:35, NIV
A few years ago I traveled to Cuba on a mission trip with Your Story Hour. The dramatized stories teach about developing good values and often feature Bible stories. Many people don’t know that they also produce stories in Spanish and Russian; in Spanish, they’re known as Tu historia preferida. During this particular trip we traveled to Cuba with the hosts of the Spanish stories, Tio Daniel and Tia Elena. Our goal was to travel across the entire island nation to bring nightly special events to churches jammed with hundreds of kids. At the time of our trip, Cuba was going through a rough period. There was a lot of poverty, and people had very few possessions.
Every time we arrived at a new city we were welcomed with open arms by local leaders, who used the stories to minister to the kids of that city. Because of the political situation there, the stories were not allowed to be broadcast by radio, so the only way to reach the kids was by having local leaders and teachers bring kids in to their homes to listen to the stories on a CD player.
Many of these incredibly poor leaders would work hard to also provide a small snack and even a coloring sheet for the kids as they were there, and I was impressed because it seemed that the poorer the people were, there and I was impressed because it seems that the poor the people were, the more generous they were. One woman had saved up all her money to transform her home into a gathering space for kids, leaving only a tiny corner of the house for bedrooms.
In North America, our society teaches us to want things. It teaches that we deserve things and that receiving is better than giving. We are reminded today that you will be blessed more when you are generous and give to the weak and needy.