Promiseland church members put $100 to good use
San Marcos Daily Record – December 18th, 2009
By Jeff Walker
Pastor Robin Steele calls it a Servolution.
The sermon at Promiseland Church started off like any other on a Sunday back in September, as Steele relayed the Parable of the Talents to his congregation. He preached on the importance of utilizing one’s individual gifts given by God. No one but Steele was aware of the twist that was coming.
“Everyone was sitting there looking at me, and I said ‘OK, I need 15 people who want to put this sermon into action right now, and I need those people to stand up and come up front.’” Steele said. “I said it just real cold and hard just to see who would do it.”
And what has happened over the next three months since has changed lives.
That Sunday, Steele handed each of the 30 (15 from each service) volunteers a $100 bill. They accepted the cash under three conditions: They realized it was not their own money; they had to take this money and put it to use outside of the church and they had to come back in 90 days and tell the congregation what they did with the money.
The 30 members reported back last Sunday.
“It was amazing the things they came up with,” Steele said.
Some gave away the 4100 immediately to someone in need. Other people took the cash and made more out of it by selling drawing tickets or receiving donations from friends and family. Others gave it to other service organizations between Austin and San Antonio.
Mikol Wilburn did several things with her money, some of which didn’t cost a penny. The San Marcos woman purchased used children’s coats and started a coat drive at Hernandez Elementary. She also purchased toys for about 500 students and donated them to Gary Job Corps, where she is employed. She made Christmas cards and took them to nursing homes.
And after speaking with the owner of Total Transformation School of Cosmetology, she arranged for the women at the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center to receive free manicures and makeovers.
“I really learned (from this experience) that it truly is more blessed to give than receive. People have far greater needs than I have, and if I reach out I’ll be richer than I could ever imagine,” Wilburn said. “I stood up that day because I really want to be a blessing to other people. I was at a time in my life when I needed to get the focus off myself and do something for someone else.”
Sherri McArdle, who didn’t even initially go up on stage and receive $100, gathered up dozens of new and used blankets to donate to homeless people. After washing them, she sewed a patch on each one with a scripture and prayer. She’s given out more than 100 so far. Steele said that the original $3,000 handed out has tripled in value given the efforts of members at Promiseland. But he’s most proud of the attitude his congregation has taken of “how we can all serve other people.”
“That‘s why we call it a servolution. It’s a revolution by serving other people,” he said.