Hattie May Wiatt stood outside the small church from which she had been turned away. The church was full and was forced to turn people away at the door, including this little girl.
‘I can’t go to Sunday School,’ sobbed Hattie to the pastor as he walked past her. Taking her by the hand, the pastor took her inside the church and managed to find a place for her in the Sunday School class. Hattie was so delighted that they had found room for her, but that night as she went to sleep in her very humble, downtrodden accommodation, she couldn’t help thinking about all the other children who couldn’t go to Sunday School and learn about Jesus.
Two years later Hattie died. Her parents contacted the kind-hearted pastor who had befriended their daughter, to arrange the funeral. As they moved her body, they found a worn and crumpled red purse in her pocket. Inside the purse was 57 cents and a note, which read,
‘This is to help build the church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.’
For two years she had saved her pocket money as a love offering. When the pastor tearfully read the note, he knew in an instant what he needed to do. Taking the note with him to church that Sunday, he told his congregation Hattie’s story; a short but sacrificial life of unselfish love, devoted to building the church and seeing more children introduced to Jesus. He challenged the church to consider how they might save money, so that together they could raise the funds needed for a larger building, to honour the vision that God had given Hattie and to which she had selflessly committed her life. The story does not end there.
A newspaper heard of the story and decided to publish it. The published article was read by a wealthy landowner who offered the church land to build on for 57 cents – the same amount that Hattie had saved. Church members made donations and gifts came from far and wide. Within five years, Hattie’s gift had increased to $250,000. As she had sown all she had, the fruit that followed was an abundant outpouring of funds.
The church today is called Temple Baptist Church in Philadelphia, with a seating capacity of 3,300. Thousands of students are educated there each year. They have built a hospital named The Good Samaritan Hospital and a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of children so no child will ever be turned away from Sunday School again. Within a room in the church is a picture of a little girl, whose 57 cents, so sacrificially given, caused a remarkable chain of events and made history. That little girl was Hattie May Wiatt.
Here at Philo Trust, we ask if you would prayerfully consider supporting our ministry as we continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in the UK and all around the world. We want to continue our work, and indeed increase our efforts and mission in this God-given calling. But we can only do so with your prayer and provision. Jesus said:
‘...I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.’ (John 4:35)
We know from the many people we meet in person and the testimonies which come into our office each week, that the ministry of Philo Trust has helped introduce thousands of people to Jesus. In the sacrificial spirit of this moving story, would you consider donating £52 this year to our ministry, either as a one-off gift or as a monthly offering of £4 per month? If so, please follow one of the links provided below. If you currently partner with us, we thank you for supporting us and ask that you please continue to do so.
Some of you might be able to give more or consider including us in your Will, which would be enormously appreciated.