Our theme for the Mission Georgia Offering this year is Generosity. It is a privilege to be generous when it comes to accomplishing the work God has given us to do.
With that brief introduction, I want to introduce you to Johnny Jennings, his wife, Gwen, and his son, Brent. This is a fine Georgia Baptist family who has demonstrated remarkable generosity expressed in gifts to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries.
I had the privilege yesterday of visiting with Johnny and his family in their Ringgold home. Johnny, who is in his 80s, has been a strong advocate for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes for many years and a faithful member of their board. Since 1985, Johnny has been collecting tin cans and paper, having it recycled, and using the money earned to make gifts to the Children’s Homes.
You may find this remarkable, as I certainly did, in raising funds by selling cans and papers, Johnny Jennings has raised more than $408,000, which he has given to the Children’s Homes ministry. When I heard that number, I was absolutely astonished as I am sure you are. It demonstrates what one person with a heart for doing the work of God can accomplish.
I made a video yesterday with Mr. Jennings and his son, Brent, as we talked about their unique ministry. I will be sharing that video at our annual meeting in November as we talk about the Mission Georgia Offering theme of Generosity. Remember, all of us can be generous, and all of us should be generous when it comes to the Lord’s work.
As I sat in Johnny and Gwen’s family room yesterday afternoon, Johnny told me how for years now he has been collecting loose change for the purpose of donating it to the Children’s Homes. He is a member at Burning Bush Baptist Church, where they have placed collection jars in the Sunday School classrooms and many are participating in this giving opportunity. It was interesting to know, and Johnny was excited to tell me, that he has collected 26 miles of pennies. He informed me that it takes 18 pennies to make a foot. Based on that calculation, he was able to determine that he has collected 26 miles of pennies.
As I sat in Johnny and Gwen’s family room yesterday afternoon, Johnny told me how for years now he has been collecting loose change for the purpose of donating it to the Children’s Homes.
At that point, Brent made this comment, “If every Sunday School class throughout the Georgia Baptist Mission Board would collect loose change for the Children’s Homes, the Children’s Homes would never again have a financial challenge.”
Johnny said, “Our collection of change has been done under a theme I developed called ‘Your change could change lives at our Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes.’”
I thought to myself, “What a wonderful idea!”
So, I bring that idea to you today for your consideration. I don’t know what you and your church have done to help the marvelous ministry of changing lives at our Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes, but I am confident that all of us can do more. I encourage you to give consideration to collecting loose change to change lives at our Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes.
Isn’t it amazing how one person demonstrating generosity can be so contagious that it encourages many others to also become generous? My prayer is that Johnny Jennings will have that kind of impact all across Georgia.