“Oh, woman, great is thy faith!”

Major gifts officer Bob Pape shares an anecdote of a strikingly selfless donor.

Bob Pape is the director of major gifts at CNEWA in New York.

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from a benefactor of CNEWA. Her name is Helen, and she lives on Long Island. I asked her how she had weathered Hurricane Sandy, which I knew had devastated her hometown when it hit shortly before Thanksgiving. Helen told me her house survived the flood. I was relieved to hear it. But then she added: “It burned down because of downed electrical lines.”

What could I say? As I fumbled for words, Helen asked if I could help her. I said of course! She then explained that she supports CNEWA’s efforts to care for needy children, and the hurricane had caused her to fall behind in her regular support. She was worried about the little ones and their caretakers who depend on her. She did not want to abandon them.

I was speechless. We are talking about children whom Helen has never met, in places she may never see. Yet she was more concerned about them than with her own immediate and dire needs. All I could think of is what Bing Crosby’s Father O’Malley says to Ingrid Bergman’s Sister Benedict in “The Bells of St. Mary’s”:

“Oh, woman, great is thy faith.”

Helen’s example continues to inspire me in my work at CNEWA, serving the churches and the poor in the lands where Jesus walked and his disciples preached. If her story touches your heart, too, please consider contributing some of your own faith and generosity.

All of us at CNEWA are most grateful to you for your continued prayers and support. May God bless you and keep you always.

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