Fw: (Fwd) The Rich Family
Sun, 19 Apr 1998 22:24:57 -0500
I received this before Easter. I forwarded it to a few friends, then I went
on vacation. One friend suggested that I forward it to the list. So, here
it is. I hope, that you lovely folks will enjoy it as we have.
>>The Rich Family in Our church, by Eddie Ogan
>>I'll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy, 12,
>>and my older sister Darlene, 16. We lived at home with our mother,
>>and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things.
>>My dad had died 5 years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids
>>to raise and no money. By 1946 my older sisters were married, and my
>>brothers had left home.
>>A month before Easter, the pastor of our church announced that a
>>special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He
>>asked everyone to save and give sacrificially. When we got home, we
>>talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of
>>potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save
>>$20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if
>>we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and
>>didn't listen to the radio, we'd save money on that month's electric
>>bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible,
>>and both of us baby sat for everyone we could. For 15 cents, we could
>>buy enough cotton loops to make three potholders to sell for $1. We
>>made $20 on potholders.
>>That month was one of the best of our lives. Every day we counted
>>the money to see how much we had saved. At night we'd sit in the
>>dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the
>>money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church,
>>so we figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the
>>offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday
>>the Pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial
>>The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got
>>the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all
>>our change. We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had
>>never had so much money before. That night we were so excited we
>>could hardly sleep. We didn't care that we wouldn't have new
>>clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering. We
>>could hardly wait to get to church!
>>On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn't own an umbrella, and
>>the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn't seem to
>>matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill
>>the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet. But we
>>sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the
>>Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their
>>new clothes, and I felt so rich.
>>When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the
>>second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us
>>girls put in a $20. As we walked home after church, we sang all the
>>way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen
>>eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late
>>that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the
>>door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an
>>envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn't say a
>>word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There
>>were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills. Mom put
>>the money back in the envelope. We didn't talk, just sat and stared
>>at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling
>>like poor white trash. We kids had had such a happy life that we felt
>>sorry for anyone who didn't have our mom and dad for parents and a
>>house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting
>>constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see
>>whether we got the fork or the spoon that night. We had two knives
>>which we passed around to whoever needed them.
>>I knew we didn't have a lot of things that other people had, but I'd
>>never thought we were poor. That Easter Day I found out we were.
>>The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must
>>be poor. I didn't like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out
>>shoes and felt so ashamed that I didn't want to go back to church.
>>Everyone there probably already knew we were poor! I thought about
>>school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over
>>100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew we were poor. I
>>decided I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade.
>>That was all the law required at that time.
>>We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to
>>bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no
>>one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to
>>do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn't
>>We'd never known we were poor. We didn't want to go to church on
>>Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we
>>didn't talk on the way. Mom started to sing, but no one joined in
>>and she only sang one verse.
>>At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches
>>in Africa made buildings out of sun-dried bricks, but they need money
>>to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The
>>minister said, "Can't we all sacrifice to help these poor people?"
>>We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.
>>Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it
>>to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put
>>it in the offering. When the offering was counted, the minister
>>announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was
>>excited. He hadn't expected such a large offering from our small
>>church. He said, "You must have some rich people in this church."
>>Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that "little over $100."
>>We were the rich family in the church! Hadn't the missionary said
>>so? From that day on I've never been poor again. I've always
>>remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus.
>>Just A Sheep!
>> __.AE _)
>> /AE ( \
>> _.-----..,-ee (eeoe--^
>> // |
>> (| ee; , |
>> \ ;.----/ ,/
>> ) // / | |\ \
>> \ \\ee\ | |/ /
>> \ \\ \ | |\/
>> eeoe eeoe eeoeee
>>Have a Great Day with Jesus!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City