Child Empties Piggy Bank for a PAA Mission Trip

March 12, 2015 | Liesl Vistaunet

The story of a little child’s donation for a Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) mission trip has been rippling through the halls of PAA and the hearts of many.

PAA students raise funds for the mission trips in which they choose to participate. Sarah Halversen, a PAA sophomore, wrote letters, asked family members to donate, and even mustered the courage to speak publicly about her desire to travel to Fiji with other PAA students and staff.

One Sabbath morning, Halversen spoke to the congregation at Sunset Christian Fellowship, her home church in Hillsboro. She told them about the work PAA does in Fiji every spring and how she wanted to be a part of helping the locals with basic medical needs, health education and sources for clean drinking water. Her church family responded with open and giving hearts.

But it was a modest gift that had parents, students and church members talking.

Days after Halversen spoke at her church, she was surprised to be given a handful of quarters — $1.75, to be exact.

“It was from a little girl in the third-grade class my mom teaches,” explains Halversen. “She had been visiting my church the day I spoke, and I guess she really felt like she needed to help.”

Halversen was sincerely touched by the gift. “She actually emptied her piggy bank so I could go help people on the other side of the world,” says Halversen. “I think it’s the sweetest gift I’ve ever been given.”

No matter the amount, supporting a student’s mission trip is a sincere investment in spiritual growth. Halversen and more than 70 fellow PAA student missionaries are about to return from their mission trips to Fiji, the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Peru. No doubt, their spiritual journeys have been impacted by their experiences.

For Halversen and so many others, the image of a little girl emptying her piggy bank to help people around the world is a story and a sacrifice they’ll never forget.