By: Gary L. Hutchens
“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Matt. 10:42). A cup of cold water? Something that seemingly insignificant can have eternal consequences? Jesus said it can. Little things, done in the right way and with the right motive, can have powerful effects. Let me tell you a story that illustrates this truth.
Hurricane Andrew struck Louisiana at the end of the summer of 1992. A congregation of the Lord’s church in an area that was severely affected by the storm worked hard to distribute various items of need to people who suffered loss, especially those living in the bayou communities that were hardest hit by the storm. Groceries, cleaning supplies, ranges, refrigerators, chests of drawers, beds and a whole host of used furniture were distributed all up and down the bayous.
As a result, a number of people began visiting the services of the congregation that was doing the relief work. The elders and deacons decided that, with God’s guidance and blessing, they would try to establish a congregation of the Lord’s church somewhere among the bayou communities. Eventually, other congregations became involved and an excellent preacher was hired to work with the new congregation on a full time basis.
As part of the spiritual follow up, Bible studies were set up with a number of people who had been helped. One little Cajun lady named Rita Chiasson agreed to study. The biggest challenge was communicating effectively to Rita the gospel message, since French was her primary language. A Christian lady with a Cajun French background traveled repeatedly with a brother in Christ to Rita’s home way down the bayou in a community called Pointe Aux Chene. They would show Rita the Jule Miller film strips one frame at a time. They let the tape run in English, then stopped the tape and the Cajun sister would translate it into French. Shortly after the entire series had been shown, Rita Chiasson made up her mind to be baptized into Christ.
When the new congregation was established, in a nearby bayou community, Rita was asked if she would be willing to be a member of that congregation. She readily agreed and was a faithful member. Rita had trouble understanding all that was being said, but she attended the services faithfully. As the years went on, she seemed to pick up a greater understanding of English, but it was always more difficult for her to understand. Still, she attended services faithfully.
Sister Rita Chiasson died unexpectedly. Before she died, however, one of her daughters and her son in law were baptized for the remission of their sins. Just a few days before Rita died from the effects of a heart attack, one of her granddaughters was baptized into Christ. What a blessing that Rita lived long enough to see her family begin to come to the Lord! Since Rita’s death another daughter, a great granddaughter and another family relation have been baptized into Christ. Her son in law studied on-line through a sound school of Biblical studies and is now a full time gospel preacher in the Lord’s church.
Who knows how many souls will ultimately spend eternity in Heaven as a result of Sister Rita Chiasson’s lead. And it all began with somebody stopping, in the name of Christ, to see if they could use some help following a hurricane. Maybe a bag or two of groceries was the first thing left at their home. Whatever it was, it was a little thing in comparison to the value of the souls that have subsequently been led to salvation in Christ following that act.
Never overlook the opportunities to do little things in the name of the Lord, for little things can have great power in their effects and lead to eternal blessings…
Gary L. Hutchens