Alaska Division Raises $109,286 for World Services
by Jenni Ragland –
“The excellence in our giving is not so much in the gift, but how much we give up. God wants us first of all to see that we excel in the grace of giving.”
Commissioner David Edwards
Under the leadership of Major Dan Hughes, Petersburg corps officer, and Mrs. Stella Martin from the Juneau Corps, Alaskans celebrated service through giving as each corps and unit in the Alaska Division presented their World Service offerings. Many of the corps in Southeast Alaska exist in part due to World Services funding.
Martin shared the following story of victory through giving as she challenged every person present to examine his or her ability to give. In one Southeast Alaska village, corps members organized a baby shower for the corps officer’s wife. One woman, having no means to purchase a gift and almost no food to feed her own family, prepared the last of her rice to share at the shower.
At the conclusion of the party, the corps officer announced an unexpected donation of 400 pounds of rice had just been received. As the corps did not have enough containers in which to store the rice, each person was asked to fill their containers before returning home. How faithfully God answers prayers when we give freely.
The Alaska Division conducted its unique appeal for World Services offerings in memory of a loved one. As delegates streamed to the front of the auditorium, the name of each person remembered and the donor’s name were read aloud while the memorial offerings were placed on a drum. A basket of plastic Easter eggs next to the drum contained prayer requests from around the division. As each person placed his or her gift, they were invited to take a prayer request and commit to pray for the person, family or situation over the next year. Over $1,400 in memorial gifts were given toward the 1999 World Service goal.
During his message, Commissioner David Edwards challenged each delegate to examine the attitude of giving of the Macedonian church as outlined in II Corinthians 8:1-13. Although they had nothing, they gave generously and with joy. “Giving does not come naturally–it’s something we must work at,” reminded Edwards.