Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

The Special Penny

A Character story about generosity.

(A true story) Mary sat attentively as the missionary shared the many needs they had across the ocean. Oh, how I wish I had some money to give the missionary, Mary thought. But Mary's family was very poor. Even a penny would be a big gift to her. When the missionary finished, her Sunday school teacher said, "Class, let's take a special offering next week to help our friend the missionary. Some of you may want to give clothes or a toy to a child in another part of the world. Each of us should ask the Lord what we can give for His work." Mary did pray, but she couldn't think of anything she had that was a worthy gift.
The next day Mary was playing at school when she spied something shining in the grass. Curious, she walked over and picked it up. It was a brand new penny! "Thank you, Jesus," she said aloud. "Now I have my very own offering for the missionaries." She was so excited, yet she wanted to be sure it didn't belong to someone else. Mary waited there for the rest of the recess and asked several of the children if they had lost any money. When no one claimed the penny, she knew it was a special gift from the Lord for her.
Mary walked home with some of the other girls, the penny tightly clutched in her little hand. "Let's go to the store and get some candy," one girl suggested.
"Sounds good," the other girls responded. "Do you want to come too, Mary?"
Mary felt the penny in her hand. With it she could buy one piece of candy. And Mary really liked candy! But her mother had told her, "Mary, I don't want you going to the store after school. We don't have any money for candy and you will only be tempted there." Besides, Mary knew that God had given her that penny for the offering. "Thanks, but no thanks," she answered. "I'll just run on home. Mother will be looking for me soon anyway. Bye."
When Mary got home, she showed her mother the special penny God had given to her for the offering. Her mother smiled approvingly and told her to put it in a special place so she didn't lose it before the next Sunday.
The next Sunday, each of the children had a special offering for the missionary. When it was placed on the table, a pile of games, toys, and clothes stood before them. Mary proudly marched to the front with beaming face and handed her teacher the penny. Mary's teacher almost said, "That's nice, Mary, but it's too small to be of any use." However, when she saw how excited Mary was to have a penny to give, she said instead, "This must be a special penny, Mary. I know what we can do with it. Let's buy a Gospel tract and sent it to the missionary." A Gospel tract is a small piece of paper that tells people how Jesus died to pay for their sins, and how to accept His free gift of eternal life.
Months later the gift package arrived on a mission field in another part of the world. The missionary there opened it and distributed the toys and clothes to the people of the village. How excited the children must have been, though some of the toys were soon broken. When the box was empty, the missionary was about to throw it onto the fire when he saw something in the bottom. Pulling it out, he found it was the tract with a note telling how Mary had given her only penny to purchase it. "This must be a special tract," the missionary said. "I will save it until the Lord shows me the special person whom He wants to receive it."
So the missionary placed the tract in a safe place in his house and prayed that God would show him who should receive it.
Several days later, a native man arrived at the missionary's door. "You must come to tell us the way of life," the man said. "We have no one to show us God's way."
"I will come as soon as I can," the missionary promised, "but I cannot come right away."
The native man looked very sad for he had walked three day's journey to get to the missionary. Just as the man began to leave, the missionary remembered the tract. "Wait a minute," he said. "I have something to give you." The missionary got the tract and gave it to the man. "This little paper will tell you the way of life," he said, and read the tract with the native man. Soon both men were rejoicing for the man accepted the Lord Jesus as his Saviour.
"May I take the paper with me to tell others of the way of life?" the man asked.
"You may indeed," the missionary answered. "I am sure that you are the one the Lord had in mind when he sent this tract."
The missionary was unable to visit this village for an entire year. Finally, he made his way three days through the jungles to tell the people about the Lord. But when he arrived in the village, he noticed a large building in the center of the village that looked like a church. Soon people from all around began to assemble in the building. The missionary recognized his native friend and went to greet him.
"How it is that you have a church in your village," the missionary asked, "since you told me that no one here knew the way of life?"
"It is true that no one knew until I visited you. But when I returned, I gathered the people together and read the tract to them. Now our people are believers in Jesus. We know the way of life."
To the shock of the missionary, over 1500 people were saved from their sins as the result of Mary's one penny tract!
Who ever said that you are not big enough or old enough or rich enough to do something for the Lord?