"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."
If that doesn't leave you just a little astounded, then you should probably read it again.
Abundance of joy.
This is Ruth. Ruth's mother is mentally challenged. She grew up with an abusive step father. As far as we know, her actual father was only 17. Ruth lives in an orphanage with 7 girls who have similar stories.
One night during devotional time with the girls, I asked if anyone wanted to share about a hard time they had been through. Ruth's hand shot up. She pointed to a small scar on her leg.
"One day when I lived with my mom, I fell down the stairs. It hurt and I cried."
For most of these children, this is their only meal for the day. They live in houses that most of us wouldn't put our dogs in, and hide at night from the war-like gang violence in their neighborhood. Many of their parents are illiterate and make an average of $2 a day for their families.
Wealth of Generosity
My arms are full of little gifts given to me by these same children. The ones who have nothing but a few rubber bands probably given to them as a gift; and they chose to give a gift to me.
As I glance down at my wrist today I’m reminded of those precious Honduran children who chose to give me everything they had- thoughts on these gifts and true treasures by my friend Hannah Hamilton.
A wealth of generosity....
"...For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us... But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you--see that you excel in this act of grace also.
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. And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-15