A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had just been turned away because it was too crowded. As the pastor walked by and seen her he asked her what was the matter and she looked up at him with big tears on her cheeks and said "they won't let me go to Sunday school.
The pastor asked why, and she told him that a man inside said there was no more room for me. This melted the pastor’s heart as to the sincerity of how a small child could want to attend church so bad that her feelings were hurt.
Seeing her shabby unkept appearance with tangled hair and dirty dress the pastor could imagine the reason someone turned her away. Her took her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her to sit in the Sunday school class.
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She went to bed that very night thinking of all the children who have never been given a chance to go to Jesus house and see what a kind loving friend he is.
Some two years later the poor little girl lay dead of unknown causes in one of the tenement buildings where she played.
The parents were poor by most standards and called the kind hearted pastor (that they had come to know so well thru the excitement their daughter had shown when talking about him) to see if he would help them with the final task of her burial.
As her little body was being moved a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some throw away trash garbage.
Inside was 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish hand writing which read: Dear Jesus this is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school. I have been saving this for two years, i hope it helps.
When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he had to do. Carrying this note and the cracked little red purse to the pulpit the following Sunday he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion.
He challenged the people to get busy and raise enough money for a larger building, but the story doesn't end here. A newspaper got hold of the story and published it. It was read by a wealthy realtor who was so touched he offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands.
When told that the church could not afford it, he offered it to them for 57 cents.
When word spread of this story checks were coming from far and wide. Within 5 years the little girl’s gift of 57 cents had grown to over $250,000.00, a huge sum of money near the turn of the century.
That little gift planted a seed and her unselfish love was the spark of inspiration needed to move mountains.
Now this is where the story changed history, if you are ever in the city of Philadelphia look up Temple Baptist church with a seating capacity of 3,300 and be sure to visit Temple University were thousands of students are educated.
But don't stop there have a look at Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday school building which houses hundreds of beautiful children, built so that no child in the area would ever be left outside during Sunday school ever again.
One of the rooms of this building you can see a sweet picture of this little girl whose 57 cents became a legend along with a portrait of her kind pastor Russell H. Conwell author of the book "Acres of Diamonds".
See how this little girl moved the hearts of many and still today Temple Baptist Church, Temple University and all its buildings were started by one little girl standing outside that little small church sobbing in tears because they would not let her come in to see Jesus.
God’s message is this: God can move mountains thru the willing, he can make things happen beyond belief and sometimes in the simplest means. Jesus who took her to heaven at that innocent age used the hearts of many to make sure that all children in that area would have a chance to meet him learn about him and live a better life.
Even though she died in that empty building she lives on through the lives of everyone who made her dream come true.