Three hundred miles north of Nauvoo, Illinois, lies Black River Falls, Wisconsin, where a group of faithful servants have been worshipping since 1844. When craftsmen began constructing the Temple in Nauvoo, the church asked for help. The congregation's response? They sent lumber down the Mississippi River to build the Nauvoo Temple.
Years later, the congregation has shifted south just a bit to Sparta, where the small yet ever-faithful group of about ten faithful servants still worships. With the financial struggles as of late, the World Church asked for help. The congregation's response? They sent $54,000.
This spring, a group from the Mission Center came to give ministry to the Sparta congregation, which is currently in transition. And, as it often happens, it was the givers who received! Alison Woods writes, "It was an intimate, joyful Spirit that welcomed us into Sparta’s midst. Our service was uplifting to all present."
Sparta is a congregation in transition. The congregation sold its building a couple years ago and now meets in the home of pastors Wally and Dotty Pohl. They are well aware of their challenges. And yet, there is a vibrancy and hopefulness in their worship! Pastor Dotty shared that the worship they shared with the visiting group from around the Mission Center would sustain their congregation for a long time, and that this worship was a mountain top experience. What joy God brings in our giving and receiving in community!
When uncertainty creeps in, our human nature often tempts us to hold on to what we've got. And yet, time and time again, Sparta gives from their abundance. And it is in giving, that they receive!
What is God calling you to give?