Generosity is often thought of as a financial act.
That’s both important and true. At GMP, we have certainly experienced the generosity of our supporters over the past two years in heart-warming and eye-opening ways. We are so thankful. As important as financial generosity is, however, it does not encompass all of what generosity represents.
There is also the generosity of ideas – where people can share ideas freely, but also receive new ideas and new contexts with an open spirit. The new ways that many of us now combine working remotely and at the office is an example of this generosity towards new ideas, and towards one another.
Then there is the generosity of time – we all adore those people who, when they sense something is going on with us, set aside the time and space to hear us. They refrain from offering advice, risk-management strategies and trying to fix us. They listen. They create space. They are generous.
Then there are our partners, both here and in Australia. I have already mentioned individual supporters and local churches, who have given of their finances, prayers, and encouragement during these difficult days for us all. I think of some of our partners across our global family, and how they generously lavish time and energy – which are finite for us all – on GMP staff and church teams when we visit. Our partners in places like Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and Bangladesh spring to mind because of how I have experienced their generosity. I was never left to my own devices to find a meal, to have a conversation, to get from point A to point B, or to find opportunities to meet a church or an individual. That generosity costs them. Often, they give up a week of their ministry and work, their enjoyment of family and leisure, to ensure that visitors from Australia experience the reality of their local context.
This generosity stems from the gracious generosity of Jesus.
We have just come through Easter, where Jesus’ abundant love on the cross and through the resurrection is remembered. Now, we celebrate Pentecost – where the Spirit of Jesus was given freely to all believers, no matter their age, sex, ethnicity, or experience. That generosity was freely given at great cost. It still flows on – we remember Pentecost as a historic event that has a present impact and reality.
Generosity costs, yes, but its ripples flow on and on. May you both give and receive generously.
Craig Brown, GMP Deputy Executive Officer and ICP Director