Pastor Walubita was visiting church members in the Kalenga area of Barotseland, which is one of the countries of Africa. He was talking to the believers about the blessings that come when we are faithful in paying our tithe to the Lord.
“I would like to pay tithe,” Paula said, “But I am very poor, and I have nothing on which to pay tithe!”
“Do you not even have food?” the pastor asked.
“Oh, I have some food,” she replied. “But it is scarcely enough for my children and me. I did have two shillings on which I planned to pay tithe, but I have lost them.”
“That is what usually happens,” Pastor Walubita explained. “The Bible says that if we rob God by withholding His tithe, His curse will rest upon us. Then sometimes we lose even what we had. You see sister, God challenges us to prove Him. He says in Malachi, ‘Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house and prove me now... If I will not open you the windows of heaven , and pour you out a blessing, that there shall no be room enough to receive it.’ He wants us to prove Him by paying His tithe on our food, your garden produce, as well as the cash we earn!”
Paula thought for a minute and said, “I want to measure my first tithe right now.” She went to the little room where she kept the family’s meagre store of grain. “It’s not much,” she thought as she began to measure it into baskets. “One, two three,” she counted until she came to the tenth measure. “This one is for the Lord,” she said aloud, and set it aside. She continued dividing her food until the Lord’s share had been fully measured.
The next day Paula sold her grain for fifteen shillings. Later Paula sold one tenth of her peanut crop, and she also faithfully tithed her sweet potatoes and other produce. Each time she turned in the tithe money to the treasurer the first thing.
“Oh Pastor,” she said joyfully when he visited her a few weeks later, “the Lord has surely fulfilled his promises to me. There has been a great famine in our area. Many of the people have no crops at all. But my food supplies seem to be always increasing. When I take food from my storeroom, it doesn’t seem as though I have any less. There is always plenty. It reminds me of the story of the widow who fed the prophet and her food supply never failed. That’s just the way it has been with me since I began paying tithe!”
Paula continued sending tithe regularly to the church treasurer. Then another experience tested her faith for a few days. A relative sent her five shillings. The tithe on that amount would be half a shilling, or sixpence, for there are twelve pence in a shilling.
She told pastor Walubita what happened. “The first thing I did,” she told him, “was to put sixpence aside for the Lord’s tithe. Then something very discouraging happened. After paying tithe, I lost the four shillings and sixpence that I had left. Why has the Lord dealt with me like this when I had faithfully given Him his tenth.”
“Do not decide too quickly that the Lord has forsaken you, my sister,” Pastor Walubita consoled her. “Even yet He may bring good from this experience. Let us pray about it.”
The next morning as Paula was walking to Kalabo, she saw something in the sand. No, it couldn’t be! But it was! A ten shilling note!
Paula, the Barotse peasant woman who had learned how to prove God, stopped right there under the baobab tree and thanked Him for always fulfilling his promises to His people!
– Article by Robert Pierson, Guide, March 12, 1969