It's been a month since Passport to the Land of Enough swept through our New England family of churches, leaving a swath of Christian simplicity in its wake. Passport to the Land of Enough is a 30-day devotional book about Christian simplicity and mission calling each reader to action.All over the Boston Church of Christ, stories abound of brothers and sisters taking on the mission challenges.
A brothers’ apartment of five managed to spend the night in their small living room without killing each other. A young married couple only spent $78 on groceries for the entire month of April. A four-year-old welcomed his father home to a darkened apartment by handing him a flashlight, and vigilantly made sure that the rest of the family did not use electricity that night either. A sister was so inspired by the first week of Passport that she wrote a $1,000 check on the spot – in addition to what she was planning to give already!
One of the most common stories across the Boston church was that the children in families were one of the biggest driving forces behind the mission challenges, and parents often expressed their conviction at their children’s joyful attitude about living within their means and giving beyond their means.
It was also especially touching to hear from the disciples in the Spanish region. Some had grown up not knowing where their next meal would come from. Others had shared a single-room hut with up to 10 others. The mission challenges gave them the opportunity to share their upbringing with their children and also reflect on how grateful they are for the blessings that God has poured out on them in this country.
In the Northwest Region of the Boston Church, we decided to hold a clothing drive to raise money for our special missions contribution. We were told by the organization collecting our clothing that we would need to fill at least 75 bags, or else we would not raise any money at all. We weren’t sure we could do it, but we went by faith, and ended up collecting over 360 bags (4,279 pounds of clothing!) and raised over $900 to add to our special missions contribution!
Michael Lamb, our lead evangelist, said that the full “effect of the series won’t be seen for another few months and years” and that “it has been a great opportunity to change our perspective and connect our hearts with the disciples and the mission in Europe.”
Even as we eagerly hope for and expect our largest missions contribution to date in the fall, let us also remember that Christian simplicity is more than a number attached to a dollar sign given on one day of the year; it is a heart of gratefulness to God, contentment with what he has graciously given, and love displayed through abundant generosity. And that can happen every day of the year.