Tues. June 22 Thoughts on Generosity

Proverbs for the day: “A generous person will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

On Girls and Giving

I’ve never seen a more devastated village than Saki, Democratic Congo. Situated in the middle of a civil war zone where rebel soldiers and government troops have fought over control of the mineral-rich mountains, it has seen its share of trouble.

The residents have recently returned after being refugees for an extended period. Their wood frame church was one of the few structures still standing. Homes were gone, crops destroyed.

It was a matter of starting over.

As our team of Louisiana girls left, they requested a gift. “If you Americans could help us, we could plan a bean crop for the entire village.”

“How much would this cost?”

“For $700 US dollars, we could supply everyone in our village, Christian or not, with ample seeds. This would feed us and we would save back crop seed for next year’s crop.”

It was the kind of request that I love to hear. They were asking for a hand up, not a handout.  If we helped, it would be a lasting gift that would feed hungry folks who weren’t afraid to work. Both the local pastor and American missionary agreed this was a worthy accountable project to invest in.

We returned home to Louisiana and went straight to GA Girls Camp at Dry Creek.  As we shared about the needs in Saki village, the camp girls took this project to heart.

They didn’t raise $700. They gave over $1400. Many of them bypassed snacks or the gift shop to help “put in a bean crop for Saki.”

I look forward to seeing photos of the beans growing in the rich soil of eastern Congo. With its equatorial location, they can grow several crops per year.

A group of girls took a project to heart. The best girls in the world: generous Louisiana girls.

However, there’s more to the story:   The extra money will go to run a feeding center near the Congolese city of Bukavu. Our Louisiana girls visited two such centers where a church sponsors a daily meal for selected malnourished children in groups of 60 and 30 respectively.

It was touching to see this ministry going on. A nurse regulates who gets the meals. Whenever a child’s health returns, they “graduate” (i.e. they’re no longer part of the program) and others needy children receive food.

Two scenes from these feeding centers are etched in my mind.

One was the sight of dozens of children watching from the doorway and open windows of the feeding center. It was evident they were hungry too. She carefully spooned the porridge into his mouth, never feeding herself. Her only food was to lick off the bottom of the spoon if any of the precious meal was dripping. I’ll always know the girl as “Sissy” and will never forget her unselfishness.

So some of the Dry Creek money will go to the feeding center. It takes $17 to feed a child per month.  This will help.     Our Dry Creek girls on the trip also made T-shirts emblazoned with “Mzungu.”

That’s “White Man” in Swahili and it is the word that any American visitor to Central Africa hears repeatedly.  Wikipedia says ‘Mzungu’ from a contraction of words meaning “one who wanders aimlessly.”  I can readily identify with that.

The wandering Dry Creek girls sold dozens of the shirts.

The profits were the Mzungu shirts are going to the feeding center.  That’s pretty neat.  Some stories of generosity.

Taught by a group of Dry Creek girls.

Proverbs for the day: “A generous person will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

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