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I read a story about a missionary surgeon who once stopped to see one of the ladies in the village that he had once operated on. The lady and her husband were dirt poor. Their source of income was reliant upon their livestock. They had an angora rabbit and two chickens. The woman would often comb the rabbit, take is hair and spin it into yarn which she would sell to make a little money. The chickens provided the eggs that they would eat for food. Anyway, this woman insisted that the missionary stay for lunch. He accepted the invitation. He was not gone for more than an hour and a half, while he went to check on another one of his postopeartive patients. When he returned he peeped into the cooking pot to see what was for lunch. In the pot he saw a rabbit and two chickens. This woman had given up both her income and her only source for food. She had given up everything. He was so touched that he wept.

The Canadian minister who tells this story the Rev. Dr. Victor Shepherd, also told about the occasion in which he heard this story. The missionary was speaking to some university students about his work in the Gaza Strip. He told his audience that they were North American “fat cats” who knew nothing about gratitude. It was then that the missionary told this story. (John K. Bergland. Abingdon Preacher’s Annual 1992. Rev. Dr. Victor Shepherd. “What Price Gratitude?”. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1991, p. 122).

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