One small sparrow
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
One Small Sparrow
I would like to share an abbreviated story that was printed in Leadership Magazine a number of years ago that comes from a book titled, One Small Sparrow.
God wants us to be givers, because HE is a giver. He wants us to generously give our time, our talents, our tithes and our offerings. In short, God wants us to give our lives and our love to other people, every way we can. They will be blessed, and so will we.
Sometimes even a small gift can make a giant difference. In 1992, a teacher named Jeff Leeland and his wife Kristi found themselves in a desperate situation. Their 9-month-old son, Michael needed a bone marrow transplant to save his life. But the insurance at Jeff’s new job did not cover the cost of $200,000.
Jeff taught an Adaptive PE class that included a 325-pound 7th grader named Dameon Sharkey. Dameon was in Special Ed classes, and walked with a limp. You can imagine how some of the other children made fun of him. But Dameon had a compassionate heart, and he helped out in Jeff’s class every day.
After hearing about his teacher’s crisis, Dameon emptied his bank account. Then he went to visit the Leelands, and he brought his whole life savings to give for Michael’s medical expenses: $60. Dameon’s generosity started a chain reaction of compassion by the kids and staff at Kamiakin Junior High.
The community rallied behind the students and in just four weeks an astonishing $227,000 was raised. Michael received his lifesaving transplant and is still going strong today.
The sad part of the story is that 8 years later, Dameon died from a rapidly spreading staph infection. But the great news is that through his friendship with the Leeland family, Dameon gave his life to Jesus Christ. And he is in Heaven right now.
But that’s not all. Michael’s dad was so inspired by Dameon’s example, that he started a school club to help other children in need. They called it the Sparrow Club. It spread to other schools. So far, they have been able to help over 400 children. And last fall, the original sparrow kid, Michael Leeland, became a regional director of the Sparrow Club.
So much good came from Dameon’s generosity. Michael Leeland’s life was saved.
Thousands of people have been inspired to help others in need. And best of all, Dameon Sharkey was saved! That’s the kind of thing God can do through us, if we will choose generosity over greed.
Adapted from Jeff Leeland, "ONE SMALL SPARROW" - Multnomah, 2000 - Cited in LEADERSHIP, Fall, 2001
Friends, giving is contagious.
Our series of messages in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 shows how that thankful giving results in much thanksgiving to God and more thankful giving. This Sunday we will continue our series, GIVING THANKS BY THANKFUL GIVING with the second message titled “God Takes the Challenge” or (sowing and reaping) based on 2 Corinthians 9:1-9. Jonnie Loadwick shared an amazing testimony about giving last Sunday and this week Dianna Boatman will share what God has shared with her heart.
Plan to take part in this exciting series of messages and join in the joyful worship service.
Thankful for you,