It was December 1981, and I would soon move away from my childhood home for the first time and attend college in another state. I had decided to major in journalism at a Christian college and was working a full-time job and also doing part-time work to save the money for my tuition, room and board.
I saw an ad in a Christian magazine (the one I eventually worked for), about making a contribution to a fund that provided Christmas gifts for children of missionaries. I felt compelled to contribute, but wondered how I could do that when I needed to save money to go away to college.
But, I felt it was the thing to do. I sent a check for $50.00 to the address indicated in the ad, and told no one about it.
On that Christmas Eve, as was my family’s tradition, we opened gifts from my grandparents. I opened a small box from them, with an envelope inside. When I looked inside the envelope it contained $50.00 in cash. It took my breath away as I saw the same amount in my hand that I had given as a gift to the missionary children. My grandparents had no idea I had donated the money, they just wanted to help me with my expenses for college.
I don’t believe God always gives us back, in monetary terms, what we give to others, but I think sometimes He lets it happen so that we will be encouraged and remember that He is present in our lives and able to supply our needs.
I did save enough money to go away to college, graduated, and was able to eventually work in Christian publishing. And I have never forgotten about that $50.00 on a special Christmas Eve.