The Honest Beggar and the Fraudulent Investor by Reva Lachica Moore

The Honest Beggar and the Fraudulent Investor by Reva Lachica Moore (I wrote this several years ago)

I heard a true-to-life story from a preacher and I wish to share it with you.

Two American missionaries named Willis and Margaret were strolling down the streets of Baguio, Philippines enjoying the coolness of the mountain air. Willis was the president of the North Philippine Union Mission and the American couple had traveled to Baguio to get a break from the heat and humidity of Manila.

They strolled into the open market and started checking out crafts and goods when Willis glanced up to see a little beggar girl coming toward them.

“Look who’s coming toward us – a beggar,” Willis said to his wife.

“How do you know she’s a beggar?” Margaret asked.

“From the way they wear their clothes. They wear clothes two sizes too big for them and they think all Americans are rich.. Let’s ignore her and see what she’s going to do.”

Margaret agreed. As they walked past her extended hand, she took hold of Willis’ coattail and pulled it. He turned and asked, “What do you want?”

“Sir, please may I have five centavos? I haven’t had my breakfast yet.”

Reaching into his pocket, Willis brought out a handful of change and gave her the smallest coin he had – a ten-centavo piece. The little girl scampered away and disappeared.

After some twenty minutes, they looked up to see the little beggar heading straight for them again. Thinking she may be coming back for more, they decided to walk past her outstretched hand. But she pulled Willis’ coattail again. He turned around, “What do you want this time?”

“Sir, here is your change. I asked you for five centavos and you gave me ten.”

Willis and Margaret, shocked at the honesty of the little girl, asked, “Where is your home? What does your father do? Would you like to take us to your home to meet your parents?”

After Feley (not her real name) answered their questions, they followed her to a thatch-roof hut on stilts. They climbed the narrow ladder to the hut. They were appalled at what they saw.

The father lay on a pile of rags in a corner, coughing up bloody sputum. He can no longer work due to his advanced stage of tuberculosis. The helpless mother nursed a sickly baby. Eight other children with ‘hunger’ showing in their sunken eyes stared at the American visitors.

After the short visit, the couple returned to the marketplace and purchased two large grocery bags of food. Then they hurried back to the dismal room on stilts. The children were very pleased with the food and smiles showed on their faces. Willis prayed before leaving this humble hut, “Dear Lord, if it be Thy will, lay Thy healing hand on the husband and father in this family and restore his health and usefulness. Bless the dear, burdened mother and these precious children. May we all meet in Thy kingdom. Amen.”

The American couple contacted the Dorcas Society of Baguio, gave them the address of Feley’s family and told of their great need. The Philippine Dorcas ladies went to work. After Willis completed his term of missionary service, he and his wife returned to the United States. But ten years later, Willis went back to Manila for another assignment. Willis was speaking one morning at Philippine Union College and told of his encounter with Feley.

As he spoke, he noticed a little commotion in the back of the auditorium. Someone brought a young lady to the podium. It was Feley. She was at the college taking nursing. She told Willis that her father had recovered and working.

Another story:

It’s not the money, but it is the LOVE of MONEY that is the ROOT of all evil. Bernard Madoff was consumed by the love of money to the point of defrauding thousands of investors of billions of dollars. Madoff founded the Wall Street Firm (Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC) in 1960, and was its chairman until his arrest on December 11, 2008.

The firm started as a penny stock trader with $5,000 that Madoff earned from working as a lifeguard and sprinkler installer. The Madoffs became very wealthy. They had a ranch house, an ocean-front home, a Manhattan home, a home in France, a mansion in Florida, a 55-foot yacht, all of these and their firm interest – worth more than $900 million

Madoff wanted more and devised a massive Ponzi scheme that preyed heavily on his fellow Jews, destroying the fortunes of numerous Jewish charities and institutions. The amount missing from client accounts, including fabricated gains, was almost $65 billion. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison and everything he owned will be auctioned.

The Bible says in Luke 16:10-12 – Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So, if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?