October 11, 2015

The Gift of Giving

 Hi there friends!
 HAPPY SUNDAY!!! It's my favorite day of the week. I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. 

This past week I had a friend from Florence who called me out of the blue. Unfortunately I missed her call and she left me a voicemail saying she had just returned from a mission trip to Africa and had a story to share with me. We played phone tag a few times and eventually she just text me the story. I shared the story with my mom who had a direct role in the story, who then shared it with one of her friends. Her friend insisted on me sharing it here on my blog so here I am, sharing it with all of you.

A couple years back, I was with my friend Shay who I had only known for a few weeks. She was talking to me about the bible that she had been using and she had mentioned that she would love to have a study bible. A few years before, my mom had gifted me this amazing study bible that went into great detail in the footnotes explaining so much of the bible that some people might not catch immediately after reading a passage. So, the next time I saw Shay, I decided to give her that Study bible that my mom had given me. I gave it to her simply because I genuinely loved Shay and just wanted to show her love. I gave it to her and didn't think another thing about it.

Let me just tell you a little bit about Shay. She is such a light. She doesn't miss a beat. She's so outgoing, so loving, so generous, and just an all around wonderful Lady of God. I loved hearing Shay's story about her life before Christ. She really had done a complete 180 and I couldn't ever imagine her being any other way than the way I knew her. 

So, last month Shay went on a mission trip with Epic Church to Swaziland in the lower part of Africa, where I'm sure they just spent time loving on people and showing them the love of God through their smiles, serving and love. That's one of the things I love most about Epic Church is how they just simple show love to people. Love, kindness and generosity can change and evolve people so much. Here is the story that Shay text me....

"Hey! Sorry we never could connect the other day. 
Ok so remember the Bible you gave me? 
Well I love it used it all the time, 
so I took it to Africa with me. 
On Sunday we went to church there and 
one of the older girls came up to me and pulled me aside. 
She asked me if we had a extra Bible and I said no. 
Well it kept bugging me bc I can get another Bible and she can't. 
So I went on our bus and gave her mine 
(the one you gave me). 
She then tells me that she doesn't have a Bible
 and her parents are passed away 
and she lives with her gogo (grandmother) 
and her gogo doesn't have a Bible either. 
She had tears in her eyes as I gave it to her. 
And kept thanking me and saying how blessed I would be for doing that. 
And then on Tuesday her gogo came to the care point 
and thanked me too for the Bible.
I just wanted to let you know that your Bible was a huge blessing to me 
but it had a bigger purpose and is now in Africa giving hope to a family
who desperately needs it. 
So thank you so much for your generosity!"

Shay sharing the story with me blessed me so much. I loved that I reaped so so much just from hearing that story. Its incredibly rewarding to be generous, but that isn't at all why I do it. I am generous because that's how God's word tells us to be. 
Here's a great part from the bible about Generosity. 


Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
I didn't tell you this story to boast or brag. I just wanted to share with you so maybe you could see that listening to God and Obeying him has a much greater purpose than you could imagine. It never in a million years crossed my mind that my little bible would end up in Africa blessing an entire family, but it did and its so cool to think about. Can you imagine what our world would be like if people simply showed love instead of hate?!?! I'm telling you, love is a game changer. Love is the largest impact and the greatest gift you can ever give anyone. 

Thanks for reading my little story!!

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