A sobbing little girl stood
near a small church from which she had been
turned away because it "was too crowded." "I can't go to
she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by.
Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason
and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her
in the Sunday school class. The child was so happy that they found room
for her, that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who
have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement
buildings and the parents called for the kindhearted pastor, who had
befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements.
As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was
found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside
was found 57! cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting which
read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children
can go to Sunday School. For two years she had saved for this offering of
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 the
But the story does not end there!
A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a
Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When
told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for 57 cents.
Church members made large donations. Checks came from far and wide.
Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00 a
huge sum for that time (near the! turn of the century). Her unselfish
love had paid large dividend.
When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church,
with a seating capacity of 3,300 and Temple University, where hundreds
of students are trained.
Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School
building which houses hundreds of Sunday Schoolers, so that no child in
the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.
In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the
sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved,
made such remarkable history.
Alongside of it is a portrait
of her kind pastor, Dr. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres
A true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD, CAN DO WITH 57 cents.
May today there be peace within
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love
that has been given to you....
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.... Let this presence
settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance,
It is there for each and every one of you....