Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Cents

The 57 Cents That Made a History

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from where 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, unkept appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her hand, took her inside and 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 have no place to worship Jesus.

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 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 scribble in childish handwriting which read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunay 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 tols the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a realtor who offered them a parcel land worth many thousands. when told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for a 57 cent payment.

Church members made large subscriptions. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--ahuge sum for that time during near the turn of the century.

Her unselfish love had paid large dividends. When you are in the city of Philadephia, visit the Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300 and a Temple University, where hudreds of students are trained. Have a look too at the Good Samaritan Hospital, and of course the Sunday School building which houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside at Sunday school time.

In one of the room 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. A longside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russel H. Conwell, author of the book, "Acres of Diamonds."