The rain was falling hard as the small group of believers huddled close to the center of the meeting room they used as their church. They needed to stay away from the sidewalls which were made of small sticks and branches held together by mud made from the clay that surrounded the building. The closer they sat to the center of the room the drier they stayed. The thicker patches of thatch on the roof lessened their chance of getting wet by today’s relentless downpour.
Once again the pastor in this small Ugandan village requested that his congregation find the resources necessary to build a building out of brick with a sturdy tin roof. And once again the congregation responded, “We’ve given all we can give. There is no more for us to give.”
However, on this particular Sunday, something struck the mind of Consolanta, a young woman sitting near the back of the congregation. She had a vision of her farm. Her mind saw her tomato plants in the field and the beans she would plant later in the year. A thought began to form in the back of her mind. Slowly she stood to her feet and addressed both the pastor and the congregation.
“I have given everything that I can to help sustain this church and advance God’s kingdom. However, this next season as I plant tomato plants I will plant one additional plant for our church. Whatever grows on this plant I will set aside and sell at the market so that the proceeds can be used to build a new church building for us.” As she sat back down a good friend and fellow farmer stood to his feet and exclaimed, “I will plant an extra tomato plant as well.”
By the end of the service, five fellow farmers joined Consolanta in their commitment to grow one extra tomato plant for the purpose of raising funds to build a new church building. All six farmers were faithful with their commitment. As the funds from the tomato sales were brought into the church, each of the six farmers committed to planting one extra row bean plants for the next growing season.
The excitement within the church began to build as proceeds from the sale of beans came into the church. The treasury grew with the funds needed to build a new building.
Next came a whole row of tomato plants which provided even more produce for sale. The process was slow. It took three complete growing seasons of tomatoes and beans before enough funds were gathered to begin the process of building a new brick building with a sturdy tin roof. Today, Consolanta and the members of this small, faithful group of believers meet together in a building that does not wash away during the torrential rains.
When they believed there was nothing left to give, God opened their minds to the fact that He abundantly supplies more than we can ever ask or imagine. By becoming effective stewards of the businesses that God had entrusted to these farmers, these industrious business people transformed the mindset of poverty that existed within their congregation.