The K'ekchi' Baptist Association (KBA) has supported financially for several years now their own "home missionaries," charged with starting new works and helping new works to grow. Each year the KBA sponsors a Christmas Offering for missions similar to Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
Throughout the year, men, women, boys, and girls look for creative ways to earn money for the offering. Some raise and sell chickens. Others give the harvest proceeds from one row of coffee plants in their fields. However, most give through incredible personal sacrifice.
Let me tell you about an example of true sacrifice in order that God's message of salvation can spread.
It was a cool December evening, several hours north of Cobán, Guatemala, in the north central highlands. The service progressed as most K'ekchi' services do, an hour or so of music and singing followed by greetings, Scripture reading, and a message from God's Word. I don't remember the message preached by the pastor that evening, but I will never forget a message preached through word and deed by one of the members of this particular body of Christ.
After the service, the pastor called for folks to come forward and bring their "mayejac" or offering for missions. One-by-one, families brought their offering to the front. Most did so with little fanfare or saying anything to the watching congregation.
However, one man and his entire family went forward. And before placing their offering in the box, the man shared the following testimony:
"My family and I have struggled for some time about how much to give to this offering. We were very sad that we did not have much to give to the missions offering this year. We have been talking and praying this week and decided that it is more important for people to hear about Jesus than for us to buy new shoes. So we are giving our new shoe money to the missions offering."
I immediately bowed my head and thought to myself, "I really do not know what it means to sacrifice, do I, Lord?"
That still, small, and quiet voice answered my question with, "No, you really have not learned true sacrifice."
That night we drove home to Cobán thinking and meditating on what we had seen and heard that evening. Sacrifice is not just an amount; it is the condition of the heart.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite hear, O God you will not despise (Ps. 51:16-17).