Here are some resources that explain a little more what could be achieved through your gifts and help you explore what generosity means for you.
Read an update on what happened with the gifts given for last year’s Global Giving Day, explore giving through the lens of 2 Kings 4 and hear the call to take initiative in your own unique context, and discover how important giving is, even for students.
Update from Global Giving Day 2021 – Student Leaders raised up in Burkina Faso and Rwanda
In 2021, some of the gifts given on Global Giving Day were distributed to the Francophone Africa region to train students as leaders in their national movements.
The leaders of the training were, truthfully, not expecting many students to be interested. At the height of pandemic uncertainty, without many resources that would make online training possible or desirable, and with miles and miles to travel, this regional-level training was ambitious.
There were some very good surprises in store, however.
From students of UGBB, the national movement in Burkina Faso, the interest kept coming and coming. They were hungry to study God’s Word, learn new leadership responsibilities, grow bold to stand for Jesus among their peers, and learn to trust the Lord in new ways. Moustapha, the trainer in Burkina Faso, had the unexpected joy and challenge of covering huge distances all over the country to reach the students with effective training.
Alongside those stepping out to learn, the next surprise was the huge number eager to teach. More and more graduates were committing their time and energy to training the student leaders. They were also surprisingly eager to grow in leadership and spiritual maturity themselves, to give student leaders the best training they possibly could. More than 200 registered for virtual training sessions for themselves.
In addition to these online seminars, GBUR, the national movement in Rwanda, organised a four-day in-person training conference for their graduates – another surprise. Allowing them to grow in fellowship and be immersed in the vision to build God’s Kingdom through equipping student leaders, this was a real blessing to graduates, student leaders, the students they will reach, and the whole movement.
This student leadership training went ahead in Rwanda and Burkina Faso thanks to the wonderful generosity of those who gave on Global Giving Day 2021. It has also been a great encouragement to other movements in the region. Discussions are now underway to plan more creative ways to meet pandemic challenges with wisdom and tenacity. More graduate training seminars are planned to equip them to mentor and train student leaders.
The regional team expect that the call to equip student leaders will continue to increase the faith, commitment and resilience of students, as more and more national movements are able to join in with their own training, and students become more confident, mature, and innovative in their leadership for God’s glory.
It doesn’t just happen, somebody does it: Taking Initiative in Giving
The following is adapted from a piece written for The Seven Day Generosity Challenge, produced by the MB Foundation. It was written by Kehinde Ojo, Program Director for Indigenous Support Development, the IFES global resource ministry that equips national movements to raise local support for their ministry. Kehinde reflects on 2 Kings 4:8-10, and comes to a weighty conclusion: things don’t happen unless we make them happen. We need to take initiative with our giving.
‘One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.’ (2 Kings 4:8-10)
It would not have been unusual for a prophet of Elisha’s status to have people come to him primarily for what they can get. What he may not have been familiar with were people who showed acts of kindness and generosity without expecting anything in return. But this and even more is exactly what he got on a trip to Shunem. When the wealthy woman invited him in, he may have thought her family had a problem that money could not solve. They must have needed deliverance, or healing of a disease that has defied medical care. They certainly needed a spiritual intervention.
Rather than asking for support of any kind from the man of God, this family takes the initiative to make their resources available by offering him a meal after a tiring journey. This invitation of guests—or, better put, strangers—to meals appears to be a norm for this family as the woman persuades Elisha to eat! (2 Kings 4:8a) Wow! She is giving away her meal
, and is not ready to take no for an answer. What a generous spirit! It appears that the meal was lavish and the atmosphere so cordial that Elisha soon becomes a regular guest at meals in this home. The woman, in consultation with her husband, then decides to take their generosity even further by building a guest chalet for Elisha. They are willing to release their resources freely to build and furnish a chalet for an itinerant minister. Notice how thorough they are in providing essential furnishings in order to guarantee a comfortable stay for their guest (v. 10).
It is important to state that not all donations are made with pure and sincere motives. Elisha may have thought that sooner or later, this family would make their request. To his amazement, however, they have no other motive than serving God’s purpose and becoming a blessing to those who come to their home. When Elisha presses further to know why they have shown such generosity, the woman states categorically that she and her family dwell in a safe and secure environment. Their generosity is borne out of freewill and a desire to serve. What amazing freedom they enjoy in their giving.
They challenge us to remember that individuals, families, or institutions are to give to add value, rather than focus on what they get back in return for their giving.
This particular story brings to light another key principle in generous living. This couple took the initiative to give, not because they were asked. It appears they were always looking for opportunities to make a difference. This virtue can be emulated by all, irrespective of cultures or circumstances.
A Challenge to the Reader
Generosity involves both heart commitment and hand involvement. We are called to act on our convictions. In Elisha’s story a family took the initiative, and they acted out their generosity in tangible ways. And we are called and privileged to do the same.
Here is your challenge:
- Read 1 Timothy 6:17-19:
‘Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.’
- Pray for God to give you joy in making a sacrificial gift.
- Respond by obeying what God puts in your heart. You may want to do any or all of the following in order to sustain this drive and be committed to generous living.
– Create a fund for missions.
– Decide who benefits from the fund.
– Make a commitment to support your choice on a regular basis whether or not the needs are communicated to you.
– Challenge friends, family, and your network to do the same.
Prayerfully choose an individual, family, mission agency, or good cause that needs any kind of support or acts of kindness. It may involve the use of your talent, time, or treasure. You may want to make a visit, buy a gift, offer a service, provide counsel and/or encouragement, give a donation, pray, offer a meal, and so on. Reach out today to such persons, families, or organizations as guided by the Holy Spirit and act on the guidance that you have received.
Today I choose one person or ministry, and I will make a sacrificial gift of time, talents, or treasure as God leads.