by: Lee DeYoung
After his Damascus Road experience, the Apostle Paul dedicated the rest of his life to proclaiming the gospel. Through his efforts, churches were planted in numerous places throughout the first-century world. He maintained ongoing relationships with his congregations, exhorting them to faithful and fruitful discipleship. In today’s Scripture, Paul urged the church at Corinth to give bountifully by commending the generosity of the needy churches of Macedonia: “For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part” (v. 2).
Words of Hope has been inspired by contemporary examples of sacrificial giving. The 2008 financial crisis forced us to reduce support for Bariba broadcasts in Benin. In response, the impoverished churches of this poor West African nation immediately challenged their members to increase their giving to help keep gospel broadcasts on the air.
Their efforts succeeded in covering most of the financial shortfall, while at the same time fervent prayers prompted some local FM stations to generously cut their air-time rates. As a result of this faith-stretching commitment, the Bariba broadcasts which had been instrumental in planting new churches throughout the country are continuing to bear fruit.