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Take my silver and my gold, Not a mite would I withhold. Take my intellect and use Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose, Every pow’r as thou shalt choose. – “Take My Life and Let It Be” by Frances R. Havergal (1874)
Sometimes a life is so incredible that its full impact can’t be measured by its brevity. Despite a short number of years, such a life can leave a lasting legacy.
Jacob Carmony was born with a midline facial cleft, and the doctors didn’t expect him to live beyond a couple of weeks. But he astounded them all and survived a year, and then two, and then three…
His parents said that he helped them appreciate what mattered most. They described his life as one of joy—he couldn’t talk, but he could communicate his joie de vivre (joy of living). And he did for more than 12 years.
Then, on March 4, 2019, when he was 12-and-a-half years old, Jacob’s heart stopped.
The savings he had kept in his piggy bank added up to $7. Remembering a little boy in the gospels who gave his all, Jacob’s mother wanted to multiply her son’s $7, so she donated it to their church’s Dollar Club Sunday program.
In August of 2021, Grace Church’s (Wooster, Ohio) pastor Nick Cleveland preached a sermon series on biblical stewardship. He chose to highlight Jacob’s story as his closing illustration and symbolically place the boy’s $7 into a jar on the stage. Even as he spoke the words, he had no idea the impact they would have on his congregation.
Jacob’s $7 became more than $24,000 that Sunday. The money was used to put a roof on an elementary school in Chad and purchase laptop computers for students in Cambodia. By the end of the year, over $40,000 had been collected for the Dollar Club.
“It’s not a wallet thing, it’s a heart thing,” Pastor Nick said. It doesn’t matter how much money you have to give. It doesn’t matter how many years you have to live. What matters is your heart for the Lord and for the lost and what legacy you leave for those who follow.
What will your legacy be?
Want to know how you can set up something like this to help your church engage with missions? Reach out to Grace Church for more information!