What God Can Do With "57 Cents"
A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which
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 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, and 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. Her parents called for the kindhearted
pastor who had befriended their daughter to handle the final
As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled
red 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 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 the larger building.
But the story does not end there...
A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was
read by a wealthy realtor who offered them a parcel of land
worth many thousands.
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When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered
to sell it to the little church for 57 cents.
Church members made large donations. Checks came from far
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 dividends.
When you are! in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple
Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300. And be
sure to visit Temple University, where thousands of students
Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at
a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of beautiful
children, built 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 of Diamonds"
This is a true story, which goes to show WHAT GOD CAN
DO WITH 57 CENTS.
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For those who misuse the word love, even kids have a better
understanding than adults. A group of professional people
posted this question to a group of 4 to 8 year olds: "What
does love mean?" The answers they got were broader
and deeper than anyone could have imagined.
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