Do What You Can, Where You Are

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the needs around you, and wonder where in the world to start trying to make a difference? (And then secretly wonder how much of a difference you can actually make, anyway?)

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this weekend. My mom took us girls to visit some of her friends here in the missionary village, and we learned all about how these sweet ladies are pouring out their hearts, sending help overseas for orphans and street-children in faraway countries.

One lady has always loved stamps, and started collecting them when she was six years old.

Seventy years later, she’s still collecting stamps, selling them to other stamp collectors, and using the money to bless other people.


Another lady learned how to sew when she was nine years old, and now, she’s sewing dresses, skirts, blouses, and shorts for orphans in Liberia, China, and the Dominican. She’s made 700 outfits for orphans in the last six years.


What struck me the most about these ladies was that they took something they’ve always loved doing, and started doing that…for Jesus.

In the beginning, maybe it looked like a small thing to do, but because they’ve faithfully stuck with it, they’ve been able to make a huge difference.

I watched Anika bending over to look at old stamps, and I wondered what kinds of things are being planted in her heart right now. What will she love, what gifts will she have that she could still be using someday, many years from now, to bless the people around her?


And what can I do, which might seem small, but could become huge with time, and lots of faithfulness?

Frederick Buechner said,

“The place where God calls you is where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger.”

How amazing to see these women taking what started as a childhood hobby, a skill they’ve spent a lifetime developing and enjoying, and offering that to Jesus.

We get these grand and glorious ideas in our heads of what would be useful to Jesus, and what will change the world in some bold, flashy, courageous acts of faith.

I believe that God is still using bold, flashy, and courageous, but sometimes He seems to love using small and ordinary, too.


What’s your “little thing”? Any ideas out there for how God can use us in small ways, done with a big heart and great faithfulness?