Article by: Leanne Friessen
In the fall of 2012, Mount Hamilton Baptist Church celebrated its 90th Anniversary. After 90 years of ministry on the Hamilton “mountain,” the congregation felt grateful to be part of a church that was continuing to thrive. Looking back over 90 years, they could see how God had blessed them and wondered, “What would it look like if we shared this blessing with others?”
Mount Hamilton Baptist Church came up with a yearlong challenge called “90 for 90.” Congregants were given jars in which they could save up $90. When they had $90 they would then give that money to a group or an individual that they thought would be blessed by it, along with a card that said:
God has blessed us for 90 years. We wanted to share our blessings by giving you this gift.
Mount Hamilton Baptist Church
The original goal was to give out 90 of these “jars.” And the church rose to the challenge! Once a month during our worship service, we shared stories about our experiences of giving. We heard about people who gave their gift to a neighbour in need, just when they were struggling most. One gift allowed a friend’s son to buy boots needed for a new job in the construction industry. A 3-year-old hand delivered her jar of coins to the SPCA. We heard about people who supported breakfast programs at local schools, cancer assistance programs, and other churches in our city.
One member took the challenge to a new level. As he planned to run our local Around the Bay Road Race last spring, he agreed to run an extra 90 kilometres (!) all night before the event, in order to raise money for St. Joseph’s Hospital. His ultramarathon stamina was staggering and his gift far exceeded $90 after receiving hundreds of dollars in pledges.
At the end of the year, we had given out 113 different gifts of $90 all over our city, totalling nearly $11,000. Like the widow’s oil which kept flowing into empty jars in 2 Kings 4, God provided abundantly. This only increased our gratitude for the blessings we have received – blessings that we hope to continue to share.