The Thrill Of Receiving

If you’re anything like me, (and I suspect you are), then you love to give.

 

medium_6510934443

You love the feeling of knowing your gift will make an impact. You love the fact that you did something unselfish. You love the sense of satisfaction that you get just by knowing that you are making a difference. Me too.

I give to my church as well as some other ministries that I feel strongly about. I also enjoy meeting needs one on one when the Lord impresses it upon my heart.

Several years ago April and I heard a preacher say to never resist a generous impulse. That statement made a real impact on us and we have since adopted it as our own philosophy.

But as much as I love to give, God has allowed me to receive way more. Since the mid 90’s I have been involved in ministering to the poor in one form or another. Because of that, through the years, over a million dollars has flown through the various ministries that I have led.

Since our ministries have been on a small scale as far as staff goes, I see almost every donation that comes through.

In other words, I know what it’s like to be a receiver. A receiver of donations. So, I wanted to put some of my thoughts down on paper about what that feels like.

1. It’s humbling

If you could see what I see from this side of the donation, you would agree that it’s a very humbling thing to be in the position of receiving.

I honestly cannot remember how many times down through the years I have been absolutely humbled by the acts of kindness I have witnessed.

I have received donations from people young and old, rich and poor.

When an elderly lady on a fixed income grabs your hands and tells you to “use this for the Lord’s work” you cannot help but to be humbled by her great faith.

When a business man writes you a generous donation and says “make a difference with this”, you cannot help but to be humbled by his confidence.

One of the most humbling gifts came to me from a man who had stayed in our homeless shelter. He had moved out of the shelter and started his own business in another state. The next year at Christmas time, he came home to visit his mother.

But his first stop when he got into town was not his mothers house, it was the mission. He thanked me for helping him when he was in need and gave me a Christmas card. I opened it after he left finding a beautiful card with a nice note of thanks and a $100 bill.

His gratefulness was humbling.

2. It’s exciting

I guess that one of the most exciting things that I get to do as a ministry leader is watch first hand as God blesses.

It is so awesome to find a need, report that need to your supporters, and then have a front row seat as God uses his children to meet that need.

One recent illustration of this was when we had a young mother and her child who needed temporary shelter. I posted the need on our facebook page and within minutes several generous people gave to help us help her.

She will never meet the people who gave for her to have shelter but she learned that night that God and his people care. I was amazed.

3. It’s scary

I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth if I didn’t also tell you that it’s a little scary. Everything we do in our ministry is accomplished by way of donations.

We don’t have a product to sell. We don’t use clever marketing. We pray, ask God for direction, and do our best to share the various needs.

And sometimes that is a very scary thing. There have been many times that I wondered if God was going to come through. I wondered if anyone even cared about the project we were working on.

I am convinced that the Lord enjoys seeing me sweat! Actually, I think that he constantly reminds me that if I am going to do his work, then I am going to have to do it his way, by faith.

And I’m not sure what planet you live on, but down here on earth that’s easier said than done sometimes.

4. It’s an honor

Above all, it’s an honor to serve the Lord and be a conduit for his blessings to flow through. One preacher said it like this “God will give more through you than he will too you”.

I think he was dead on. We are certainly better suited to be a conduit rather than a reservoir.

It is an honor to know that God has entrusted me to make good use of his goodness. It’s an honor to be the one who is privileged to have that front row seat, to be the conduit.

Earlier this year my family and I got to meet four different families whose homes were destroyed Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. We sat with them, cried with them, and prayed with them.

Then, we were able to watch as thousands of dollars flowed through our hands and turned into brand new homes for those families. What an honor that was.

One of those families who lost their home was a pastor and his wife. After we shared the need, a retired pastor from the United States stepped up and donated all the money to build their home back.

That pastor and his wife had lost their home in a storm years ago so they knew what it was like to be without. It was a true honor for me to receive their donation and oversee the rebuilding of the home.

To sum it up

I am constantly humbled, excited, scared and honored to receive gifts and put them to use in God’s kingdom. The giving of saints down through the years has done more good than any civic or political group ever will.

Only eternity will truly reveal the blessings that many have amassed with their generous spirit. I for one know a lot of people who have treasure laid up in Heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal!

 

P.S. As you may already know, we are right in the middle of our most important fundraiser of the year. Please visit here to learn more about it. Plus, you can see our progress at the very bottom of that page!