There’s a true story that tells what God can do with $0.57. A sobbing little girl stood near a church from which she had been turned away, because it was too crowded. “I can’t go to Sunday school she sobbed,” to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason why. And taking her by the hand he took her inside and he found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who had no place to learn about Jesus.
Some 2 years later this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for this kind hearted pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn, crumpled purse was found that seemed to be rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found $0.57 and a note scribbled in childish handwriting that read, “This is to help build the little church bigger so more chldren can go to Sunday school.” For 2 years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for a larger building, but the story doesn’t end there. A newspaper learned of the story and published it. A realtor offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands of dollars. When he was told the church couldn’t afford to pay that much, he offered it to them for $0.57.
Church members made large donations. Checks came in from far and wide. Within 5 years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000 a huge some of money for that time near the beginning of the 20th century. Her unselfish love paid huge dividends.
When you’re in the city of Philadelphia, look up the Temple Baptist Church with a seating capacity of 3300 people, and Temple University where thousands of students have been trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and to the Sunday school building that houses hundreds of students so that no child in the area will ever have to be turned away again during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms in the building, you’ll see the picture of the sweet little face of this girl whose $0.57 so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. H. Russell Cronwell, the author of the book, Acres of Diamonds. It goes to show what God can do with an unselfish love and $0.57.