All on a Pound Note

by | Jun 1, 1999 | Provision

(This story is taken from a fantastic biography about Brother Andrew, called The Narrow Road)

The weeks passed so fast that soon it came time for me to head out on the first of several training trips in evangelism. “You’re going to like this, Andy,” said Mr. Dinnen. “It’s an exercise in trust. The rules are simple. Each student on your team is given a one­pound banknote. With that you go on a missionary tour through Scotland. You’re expected to pay your own transportation, your own lodging, your food, any advertising you want to do, the renting of halls, providing refreshments.”

“All on a one-pound note?”

“Worse than that. When you get back to school after four weeks, you’re expected to pay back the pound!”

I laughed. “Sounds like we’ll be passing the hat all the time.” “Oh, you’re not allowed to take up collections! Never. You’re not to mention money at your meetings. All of your needs have got to be provided without any manipulation on your part-or the experiment is a failure.”

I was a member of a team of five boys. Later when I tried to reconstruct where our funds came from during those four weeks, it was hard to. It seemed that what we needed was always just there. Sometimes a letter would arrive from one of the boys’ parents with a little money. Sometimes we would get a check in the mail from a church we had visited days or weeks earlier. The notes that came with these gifts were always interesting. “I know you don’t need money or you would have mentioned it,” someone would write. “But God just wouldn’t let me get to sleep tonight until I had put this in an envelope for you.”

Contributions frequently came in the form of produce. In one little town in the highlands of Scotland we were given six hundred eggs. We had eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch, eggs as hors d’oeuvres before a dinner of eggs with an egg-white meringue dessert. It was weeks before we could look a chicken in the eye.

But money or produce, we stuck fast to two rules: we never mentioned a need aloud, and we gave away a tithe of whatever came to us as soon as we got it-within twenty-four hours if possible.

Another team that set out from school at the same time we did, was not so strict about tithing. They set aside their ten percent all right, but they didn’t give it away immediately, “in case we run into an emergency.” Of course they had emergencies! So did we, every day. But they ended their month owing money to hotels, lecture halls, and markets all over Scotland, while we came back to school almost ten pounds ahead. Fast as we could give money away, God was always swifter, and we ended with money to send to the WEC work overseas.

Open Doors, Brother Andrew with John & Elizabeth Sherrill, The Narrow Road, Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001, p. 102-103.


All on a Pound Note