• Elyce Richards

The Never-Empty Wallet

There are a number of people in the community who live outside of town on the beach. This is often called 'Long-grassing'. It is the idea of living on the fringe of the community, 'in the long grass' having no home and moving wherever needed to survive. These people in our community do not have houses, and cannot get them. They have been on waiting lists for years, often bumped off again and again because they do not respond to letters. They do not receive the letters. No one knows where to address them and they do not know that they are being sent.

Many of these individuals are also suffering from mental illness. Sometimes, this is the reason why they cannot return to their families and homelands. Sometimes, the mental illness comes from the long struggle of living on the edge of two cultures, living without, going hungry, losing family.

There are many community service providers in our town, but there are always gaps. Often these individuals have tried to communicate with these service providers and are frustrated because the system is so complicated. Each agency has they own rules, and sometimes individuals feel 'humbugged' by the organisations!

Praise God that with Jesus there are no gaps! And with Jesus, there is no pressure to conform!

The longer I am in this community, the most passionately I believe that it is the responsibility of Believers to be on the front line with people in the 'long grasses'. We have something to offer that is more profound than any organisation. We have Jesus Christ within us, and can share this Life and hope wherever we go. We must serve the community, and we do it in the Name of Jesus.

Often, the first point of contact with people from the long grasses comes with a request for money. It is a daily occurrence. If we were to respond to every request for $10s and $20s (which do not go very far), we could easy give $200 a week! I usually don't have any reason to carry that much cash around, except to give away. Most of the time, I try to purchase a meal for us both so we can sit and share together. However, most of the time I am on work time or running late to get somewhere (as I frequently am!).

I feel so passionately that God is a generous God! The regular positive love and extravagance in giving is part of His character. I want it to be part of mine too. Over the past couple of months, I have had a miracle wallet. I cannot remember withdrawing cash for the last month! Every time someone has asked me for money, I have responded with "Oh, I don't think I have any at the moment. I haven't had the chance to withdraw any." Only to look in my wallet and find a bunch of 5s, 10s, 20s, and 50s! I am not kidding. I have no idea where else the money has come from. The money has come from God.

I have lost count of how many times this has happened. I think the wallet has been refilled about four or five times now. Each time, it takes a few days to empty it. I remember emptying it and having nothing left. Then there is cash again. I always find it when someone asks me for money.

I went shopping the other week and forgot my wallet. I got to the register only to find I couldn't pay. So I rummaged through my bag for coins and went to the car to find loose change. Oh, I prayed that a ten dollar note would appear for me! Instead I ran into one of the young men from our senior youth Bible study. God used HIM to bless me instead!

I can only conclude that God really loves it when we share what we have. He will provide the means so we can do it. He is a very good God!

It is quite a funny story

Before I share my story about the wallet, I want to share some thoughts about finances and investments.

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