In my first experience as a full-time preacher, I served in Cairo, Illinois. In case you do not know, Cairo has gone from a thriving town to a shell of its former self. Welfare and empty buildings [the ones that aren’t torn down] are the norm.
We met a simple woman from the community who was very poor. She came to worship and asked us for financial help. We took her to the grocery store and helped her learn some more efficient ways to eat than just buying meat in bulk. She was a sweet lady who faced enormous challenges in life.
She kept coming to worship and paid back the money she had been given. Considering how little money she had, that was an amazing feat. In fact, that I know of in sixteen years of preaching, she is the only person from the community who has ever done that.
In time, she became a Christian and she was so thrilled. She was trying to teach her children, with her limited abilities, and would talk to her neighbors about the Lord.
We would go and pick her up for worship. She also was hired to clean the building. Often, she would walk 20 blocks to the Church building and 20 blocks back home. She was an amazing testament to going the extra mile.
Despite her being nearly destitute, she gave what she could in contribution and was a great example to everyone.
Years later, she was still faithful. The congregation I hear has closed and that brings sadness to my heart because of the brethren there. But most of all for this courageous and giving Sister in Christ with a heart as big as the city.