Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you knew giving to a particular need was the right thing to do, but the little voices inside rationalized reasons you shouldn't do it?
An important giving opportunity will come across our path, we have the resources and instead of getting enthused to help and participate, we begin thinking of all the reasons why we shouldn't be involved and contribute.
We are involved with the FOL Foundation in the construction of a residence for orphan boys rescued from the slums in Nairobi, Kenya. This newly constructed 24-bed residence will replace a decent barracks-like corrugated steel building and will now provide the boys with a family home to live and learn with a dining room, kitchen, running water, flush toilets and showers as they grow up under the excellent care of the Fountain of Life Deliverance Fellowship Centre’s Child and Family Services.
As the project nears completion, the remaining balance of funds are needed to complete construction. Since we have been raising funds concurrent with construction, we find ourselves continually seeking support. If funds haven’t been secured when the next payment is due to the contractor, then someone needs to step up and contribute so the orphan boys will have a more dignified place to live. After all, what is more important than helping take care of vulnerable children who are in difficult situations?
In digging deeper to help complete the project, we ask ourselves the question, “how can we afford to give more when we have already given so much?”
That question is easily answered by reminding ourselves that to those orphan boys, in their situation, the construction of a new residence would seem impossible. But through our involvement with people in places who think something is impossible, allows us to have an impact on their lives far greater than we ever could imagine. Coming alongside others can sometimes help make the impossible possible.
Being generous in supporting people in difficult, vulnerable situations doesn't just change our perspective, it can alter the trajectory of our lives and those we serve. It can take us from where we are in life by expanding and stretching us to places we never thought possible to go. In our case, we never dreamed we would be involved with orphan children half way around the globe.
By immersing ourselves in areas and with people in challenging circumstances helps keep us grounded as to life's reality for many and gives us a greater sense of appreciation for where we are in life, what we are doing, and how we have been blessed.
If you are wondering how you can get connected with people encountering challenging circumstances just look around your neighborhood and community. Contact churches and nonprofit organizations helping those with human services, education, healthcare and job training to name a few.
You can also learn about connecting with people by visiting websites such as Kiva.org, a microfinance company whose mission is “to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty” and CrowdRise.com, a platform that uses crowdfunding to raise charitable donations for various project needs.
Being generous when we don’t want to give creates an exciting journey we never before dreamed of or imagined possible. Rather than asking the question how can we afford to be generous, instead we need to ask how can we afford not to be generous?
Knowing you have something to offer that serves the people around you and understanding how your relationship with them positively impacts the whole is a key concept to remember in being generous when you don’t want to give.
The reality in living a life filled with generosity is that by doing something for those in difficult situations will not only help them but could last for generations beyond their lifetimes.
And one of the exciting, unexpected gifts of being generous when you don’t want to give is that it can potentially help you find your place in the world.
For more thoughts on generosity pick up a copy of the enjoyable book, “An Unexpected Legacy: Strategies of Generosity.” Click here to place your order.