Do you have any extra puzzle pieces?

puzzle-piecesOne of the leaders of the church I pastored spent 15 years in prison.  He told of a time when a number of the inmates were ushered into the cafeteria and seated at tables of 10.  In front of each man was a manila envelope that contained the pieces to a jigsaw puzzle.  The inmates were instructed not to talk or communicate with anyone at their table or anyone else in the room. The object was to find out which table could properly assemble all 10 of their individual puzzles the fastest.  They were instructed to empty their envelopes and quickly put their puzzle together and they were warned that if they communicated with anyone in the process they would be disqualified.  As he emptied his envelope, he noticed that there were pieces that belonged to his puzzle, and pieces that didn’t belong.  As he looked around the table he could see that the pieces he needed to complete his puzzle were scattered in front of other inmates.  How could he get the pieces he needed without being able to ask for them or reach across the table and take them?  It then dawned on him to look at the extra pieces he had and who needed them.  He slowly moved those extra pieces to the inmates who needed them.  It didn’t take long for the entire table to catch the process.  Each man simply moved their extra pieces to whoever needed them and before they knew it, all of their puzzles were properly assembled; they had been the first table to complete the task. 

Most of us are faced with finding the resources we need to accomplish the task or vision we have been given.  We spend tremendous effort and energy devising new ways to get the missing pieces we think we need.  Seldom do we look at the extra pieces in front of us, and even less seldom do we look around our table to see who may be missing the extra pieces we have.

The Kingdom of God has all of the pieces needed to fulfill God’s vision but He has spread them around much like the pieces of those inmate’s puzzles.  I am suggesting the way we complete our puzzle is to begin sending our extra pieces to places that need them so we help them accomplish their task.

I can hear someone saying, “Wait a minute; we don’t have any extra pieces. We don’t have enough of anything to accomplish our vision.”

For years I’ve heard ministry leaders and individuals give testimony of how God came through with just the exact amount of money they needed right at the moment in time that they needed it.  In fact I used to tell those stories regularly.  That is until I began to believe God when he said, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think…” and “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over…”   I came to the understanding that God gives us more than what we need because He desires us to proclaim Him as an extravagant giver.  So, look around more closely and discover the extra that came with that last blessing of provision.  It’s there; you just have to find it.

Churches, pregnancy centers, businesses, and individuals are catching the vision to become Mission Partners and make a difference for lives worldwide.  The amount isn’t what is important – but the desire to impact the effects of abortion worldwide is.   All of the money given to support Mission Partners goes directly to their efforts.

Two of Blue Ridge Women’s Centers long time supporters were instrumental in launching the Pregnancy Resource Organization (Lydia) in Macedonia.  At their encouragement, Blue Ridge Women’s Center made two commitments to Lydia. First, that we would financially support their efforts by covering the cost of one month’s operational overhead annually.  Second, that we would help find more Mission Partners that would cover overhead costs for the additional months.

Each of the current offices of Lydia (Štip and Skopje) have monthly overhead of $2,500 each.  Today, Mission Partners provide about 60% of their overhead. We need more Partners that will make the same kind of ongoing commitments.  Can you be one of them?