The Mighty Mites
By Barb Mazarakos
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth, but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on” (Mark 12:41-43).
What do you do with all of the loose change you find throughout the week? Do you put it in a bowl on the counter so it doesn’t end up scattered on the floor? Add it to a milk jug to help you save for a rainy day or that special family vacation? Perhaps you do what we often do, and give it to your children for their piggy banks? Since the early 1900’s, the women of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League have been collecting these coins in special mite boxes to donate for the use of missionary work. Though it was designated in the 1942 constitution and bylaws that 25% of those funds would be used for missionary work at the national level, the other 75% remains for use at the district level for helping those in need.
In 1953, the ladies of the LWML reaffirmed their commitment to fundraising solely through voluntary donations such as the ones received through their Mite box collections throughout the year. God has blessed this ministry with over 1 million dollars in grants at the national level, with some of the most recently voted on recipients being Clean Water and Evangelism Ministry; Disaster Response Trailers, and Cancer Care Packages ( you can find the complete list of sponsored ministries at http://www.lwml.org/mission-grants). As you collect your change at the end of the day, please be encouraged to drop it into your Mite boxes and return them to church to the large box in the narthex that will be available from now through Holy Week. What may be just a few coins to you can become part of a much bigger project when combined with the efforts of others. May God continue to bless you this Lenten season so that you can also be a blessing to others.