First Fruits


By Brian Mateer

I tend to experience God in the mundane or seemingly ordinary events of life, nature and relationships. It’s as if God gives me a single snapshot or image for me to hold onto and ponder for days, weeks or even months. From this simple image, I experience God revealing truths to me in mysterious and wonderful ways. Many of these ordinary, yet extraordinary, experiences happen when I am in a foreign land.

I recently had another one of these experiences of God on a vision trip to Kenya. On my first Sunday in the county, our group attended a worship service and an offering was taken by people dropping money in a basket located at the front of the church. Close to the end of the offering a little old woman came forward with a plastic bag. In the plastic bag were three eggs, which she had harvested from her chickens that morning. Surprisingly, the pastor proceeded to auction the eggs off to the highest bidder and the money raised was placed in the offering plate.

A week later I found myself in a different church for another service. Once again an offering was received in a similar manner, but this time someone had brought five two-liter bottles filled with milk. I knew what was going to happen next…the auction.

One of the members of our group leaned over to our interpreter and asked, “What are they doing?”

“Someone has a cow and it is just beginning to produce milk,” she said. “This is the offering of first fruits from the book of Leviticus.”

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. He is to wave the sheaf before the Lord so it will be accepted on your behalf. (Leviticus 23: 9-11)

The 30 Hour Famine is an opportunity for youth leaders to bring this verse to life. The Famine is much more than fundraising, and provides a chance to wave our offerings before the Lord for them to be accepted and used for God’s glory. We are commanded to give the first fruits of our harvest. The first fruits of ourselves, our gifts, our blessings and our resources.

Give your first fruits. Do the Famine.