“Many hands make light work.”
Most of us probably grew up hearing this phrase from parents, coaches or teachers, especially when it was time to do the dishes, yard work or a school project. And it was true! If I had to rake leaves, I sure wanted my sisters to join me in the work…to share the load and to accomplish the task quicker!
Well, that’s how I’ve found myself explaining One Hundred Shares Birmingham (OHSB). No matter how much money we have (and we all have more than many, less than others), it never seems quite enough to significantly affect our favorite ministry. But little, in the hands of God, can be much! And when combined with the “little” of others, it can be much more! It’s easy to look at the needs of a ministry and feel like there is no way one individual’s contribution can make a difference, but when combined with the gifts of 150+ other women, it is so rewarding to see the impact.
When I first learned of OHSB, I was intrigued, but not sure I was called to be a part of it. A thousand dollars per year ($5K over 5 years) was still a significant amount of money when seen as over and above our tithe and giving. What convinced me to become a partner was the emphasis on prayer rather than money. The whole attitude of the board was one of dependence on the Lord as stewards of His gifts. Each grant applicant is seen as God’s ministry. There is the understanding that He is more than able to provide for their needs, but delights to use His children in the process.
At the time I became a partner, I was starting my own fledgling travel business and had no idea how much income it would produce. Even though my husband and I have always operated with a mindset of “our money”, rather than mine or yours, I had a desire for this to be my gift. So, I asked God to provide the one thousand dollars from my income. That year, I gave the first $500 in faith and then waited and prayed to see where the next $500 would come from. I was working with some clients planning their trip to France but when they decided to go a different direction and no longer needed my services, they sent me a “thank you” gift for my time… a check for $500. There it was! God’s money, God’s time, God’s business, God’s ministries…it’s all His. I’m just a steward seeking to be obedient. Yet my faith grew in the process. What a privilege to be one of the many hands that God uses to provide for His work in our city.
Gini Beth Welch OHSB Communications Co-Chair August, 2022