Tyler Perry is famous as an actor and producer. Now he is becoming famous for something else.
He paid for the groceries of all elderly shoppers at forty-four Kroger stores in Atlanta, Georgia, his hometown state. He did the same at twenty-nine Winn Dixie stores in his native New Orleans. “He wanted to do something special to provide immediate relief for some of the most vulnerable in the two cities he calls home,” a source explained.
His donations came after he gave $21,000 in tips for workers at an Atlanta restaurant while picking up takeout.
The coronavirus pandemic is not the first time Perry has been gracious to those in need.
Last November, he came to the aid of a couple from Atlanta who were forced to seek medical treatment in Mexico and then prevented from leaving because they could not pay their $14,000 medical bill. He paid their bill and also covered their travel expenses as soon as they were cleared to leave.
In December 2018, he paid $434,000 to cover all layaways at two Walmarts in Atlanta, helping 1,500 people.
Anonymous missionaries who have changed your life
We join God in redeeming crisis when we respond to its victims with generosity. Others may not know of our service, but it will bear significance far beyond itself.
For instance, Acts 11 tells us that “those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch” (v. 19). Stephen’s martyrdom led to persecution in Jerusalem that caused this diaspora through which the gospel was spread across the Roman Empire.
In addition, “There were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord” (vv. 20–21). These unnamed missionaries established the church in Antioch that would later become the base for Paul’s global ministry (cf. Acts 13:1–3).
Every person reached through Paul’s missionary work was a spiritual descendant of these anonymous missionaries. Every person who has benefited from Paul’s letters (comprising half of the New Testament) is in their number as well. Every time you read something Paul wrote, you are experiencing their ministry in your life. Every time you share the gospel Paul preached, you are extending their ministry in the world.
You may not be able to leave a $21,000 tip the next time you pick up takeout at a restaurant, but you can leave something even better: the life-changing word of God expressed in your compassion, intercession, and witness.
I am excited to thank the anonymous missionaries in Antioch in heaven for changing my life. Who will say the same one day to you?
NOTE: My wife has written a small flyer that you can print at home and give along with a financial tip to those who are serving you in these days. I encourage you to use her Generosity Flyer today.