A few years ago, Joel Nagel produced the short devotional book Passport to the Land of Enough, a powerful call to a life of simplicity and generosity. Inspired by Joel’s insights, Dave Eastman took the core material, traveled to Europe, and produced a European edition of the book. The European edition introduces our churches to some of our European heroes and churches, calls first-world disciples to a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the European mission, and inspires growth toward that same kind of streamlined living and sacrificial giving.
The Indianapolis Church of Christ embraced the book’s concepts, engaged the missions challenges, and responded from the heart. With a special missions goal of $171,000, the church in Indy recently gave just over $239,000!
Beyond the monetary result, there were inspiring stories that came out of the five-week sermon and quiet time series:
Becky Powell (pictured at right) set the pace for the church by completing every one of the 30 mission challenges in the booklet! For her efforts, she won a $100 gift card, because even in the land of enough, you need a few basics. Becky’s efforts yielded moments of difficulty as well as moments of joy. For Becky, the toughest challenge was not using her car for a day. After her ride to work fell through, she had to run 20 minutes to work in order to make it on time. It hit her that this might happen sometimes for some of our brothers and sisters who lack the option of a car. Another day’s challenge saw her giving food and hidden cash to homeless people. One of them spotted her days later and stopped her to say, “God bless you.” He shared what a huge difference it had made for him.
Corey and Oni Harton were impacted by the “clean the cupboards” challenge. They lived from the contents of their refrigerator, freezer and pantry for every meal for seven days. They shared that for the last two days, they only had brown rice and oatmeal for their meals. This, probably more than anything, drove the point home. Corey says he appreciated the ability to simply buy food much more than before.
Steve Cannon (pictured below) is one of our church’s evangelists. He and his family were most impacted by the challenge to spend an evening together in one room.
“With all the kids having their own room, it’s so easy to get disconnected from one another,” he said. They had to be creative with sleeping arrangements, sharing one bed and using the chaise lounge and the floor (of course, dad got the floor). Just one night left them noticeably closer! Challenges on other days led them to eat more simply, sometimes going without utensils. They decided to adopt some of these changes permanently.
If all of us make the decision to live more simply and give more generously, our brothers and sisters in parts of the world will benefit, and many more people will be saved. Let’s travel, together, to the land of enough. Dave Eastman also contributed to this article.