Rev. H. Merriweather

by | Jun 8, 1998 | Giving, Humility, Support

The Rev. H. Merriweather, a dedicated missionary of the Sri Lanka and India General Mission, was sent to the United States to represent the mission in various capacities. The head office of the mission asked him to call upon a certain woman who supported a full-time missionary.

On arrival in the city, he made his way to her home, and was somewhat surprised by the ordinary type of home found there. He had expected to find a wealthy suburb with pretentious buildings. This woman supported a full-time missionary! It was therefore to be assumed that she was a lady of means. Had he made a mistake?

He read again the address, and carefully checked both the name of the street and the number of the house. There had been no mistake; this was the place. He knocked at the door, and was greeted by a motherly old lady who beamed upon him and said, “Welcome, Mr. Merriweather. I knew you were in the district and I have been waiting for you to call. Come in.”

The missionary explained how he got her address, and even while he was speaking to the lady his eyes were examining the room. The furniture was spotlessly clean, and yet it could hardly be described as expensive. This was the abode of an ordinary working woman who might be struggling against poverty. Yet headquarters had said that she supported a full-time missionary.

Ultimately his curiosity gained the upper hand, and he asked how could she–a woman with meagre means–manage to give so much money to the Mission? Mutely he indicated the mediocre furnishings of the apartment, and his eloquent silence suggested that the task was beyond her capabilities.

The old lady was greatly amused as she said, “But, Mr. Merriweather, I support four missionaries. I have one in India, one in Africa, one in China, and one in South America. Yes, sir, I have four–people all over the world preaching for me.”

The man was amazed. Hardly believing his ears, he repeated, “You have four people preaching for you. And you support them all!–But how on earth do you do this?”

Her lovely old face became grave; only her eyes smiled as she told of the faithfulness of God. She explained how she had always believed in giving one-tenth of her income to God. Regularly she had set aside His portion, and this had accumulated. Then God had blessed her, for someone had bequeathed to her a certain amount of property. The rental from this greatly increased her income, and consequently her “Lord’s Fund” became larger. Soon she found she was able to support a missionary.

She added, “I also discovered that my own funds were increasing, and eventually I was able to purchase more property. And so it continued, Mr. Merriweather. Come over to the window, and I will show you my houses.”

She indicated a row of magnificent villas, and said, “What does a poor old body like me want with such big houses? I have all I require in this little home, and the rent from those places supports my missionaries. I knew I would never be able to preach the Gospel overseas, so I determined others should do it for me.”

Mr. Merriweather concluded: “Some day at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Merriweather the missionary will stand beside this kind helper from America, and I am quite sure her reward will far outshine mine. She knew how to give cheerfully. And the Lord, Who loves a cheerful giver, blessed her.”

Thanks to Randy Walker


Rev. H. Merriweather