‘Where in the world is Cotonou?’ I thought to myself as I read about a USD $40 donation that was made during our recent matching grant opportunity. After searching online, I learned that Cotonou, while not the capital, is the largest and most influential city in Benin.
I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I read that the annual GDP of Benin is $804.67. That $40 donation represents more than the average monthly income for more than one-third of Benin’s population. I wonder if any of the disciples felt that same grip on their hearts as they heard Jesus tell them of the sacrificial gift of the widow in Mark 12.
My first instinct was to return the gift. But then I remembered again Mark 12. And could perhaps feel that the Lord might want to say to me, ‘Truly I tell you, this brother has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but he put in everything.’
I want to share with you the wonderful news that the Lord helped raise up friends from all around the world to donate $461,780 during the month of December. Financial gifts came in from 11 geographical regions, including countries such as Albania, Ecuador, Lebanon, Ghana, Korea, and India. That amount will now be doubled by a generous donor to become a total of USD $923,560 to help the Lausanne Movement connect influencers and ideas for global mission in this exciting new year of 2015!
I want to thank you for your prayers and your generosity. That generosity is reflected not simply in the dollar amounts of your gifts, but in the heart that was expressed in the midst of your unique circumstances and contexts. I certainly won’t forget the love that was shared in a $40 gift from Benin.