Carolyn Pearson of Bonner Springs, Kansas, and Christine Simone of Palm Beach, Florida, had the opportunity to find out just how small the world actually is. Carolyn and Christine served as volunteers in Colombia, where there are four emerging Community of Christ congregations. Their host family,Yanett and Iairo Zabaleta (pronounced Yan-ett and Hi-rowe Zah-bah-laytah), welcomed them into their home as daughters.
Even though the Zabaletas are very poor in monetary terms, they did not let that stop them from giving cheerfully and generously. Carolyn recalls: "Each day, a boy named Luis would come to the Zabaleta home in the morning to be a part of Young Peacemaker's Club and to play soccer. He wouldn't leave again until late in the evening. Luis had no shoes, his clothes were tom, and he never went to school. "At meals Yanett would quietly save enough food for Luis to have a plate of rice after feeding the other seven people in her house.
One evening as Yanett and I were walking home from church, we stopped in front of a tiny shack made of old, grey wooden slats. She told me that this was where Luis lived. As I peeked inside, I noticed that nearly ten people were packed inside. "In that moment, I was deeply touched. I knew that Yanett didn't have many financial resources, and yet she generously shared what little she had with a boy who was much less fortunate. When I consider the almost obscene amount of wealth I have compared to the Zabaletas, I am astounded. I realize now that I have been afforded so many opportunities to serve others. I am grateful that I learned the value of giving generously."
This stewardship story is excerpted from the article "The Power of Story" in the Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation issue "Blessed Be the Lord God" based on I Corinthians 16:1-4. The Blessed Be the Lord God CD contains files for all the materials produced for this theme, including the magazine, worship and study resources, promotional materials, and implementation suggestions. Learn more and order in the ESC webstore.