MAK: God Loves a Cheerful Giver

MAK: God Loves a Cheerful Giver

Featuring ERDO by Marie Lynn


Let’s say you’re at school eating lunch and your friend asks you for a piece of your favourite sandwich. Most likely, you may not want to share because after all, it is your favourite, but at the same time, you know that if you do share, you will get to see how happy it makes them. When you see your friend happy, that makes you feel happy, too! Or maybe you think that they will like you more if you share with them, rather than keeping all your food to yourself. God loves it when we give to others, but sometimes what motivates us to give can be selfish.

“Each of you should give whatever you have decided. You shouldn't be sorry that you gave or feel forced to give, since God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

This Spring (2018), Candice Mayers had the opportunity to go to Zimbabwe to visit some of the ERDO programs in the area. On one of the first days of her trip, she had some time to tour Villages of Hope - Zimbabwe, a place that houses over 70 orphan children, and provides them with an education and medical care. Gillian Rumney, ERDO’s Senior Program Officer who had been there before, was showing her around the different children’s homes and school buildings. They started walking up to the clinic in the village when Gillian explained how a twelve-year-old girl in Canada was moved by a church presentation about orphans in Zimbabwe. The little girl raised $50,000 selling homemade bracelets to fund the building of this clinic. The story was familiar to Candice, and she asked if Gillian was referring to Carrie-Ann Bauer and her Bracelets for Hope project. As it turned out, Candice was a close childhood friend of Carrie-Ann and had no idea that her clinic was in Villages of Hope - Zimbabwe. She could not believe her  eyes. Candice had travelled over 8,000 miles from home and God was still surprising her with the incredible love of her friend. The work Carrie-Ann had done all those years ago was a part of the very same project that Candice was sent to Zimbabwe to report on. Carrie- Ann had travelled to Zimbabwe 10 years prior when the money was first raised, to be a part of the ground-breaking ceremony but had not been able to return since. Knowing that, Candice was sure to take lots of pictures to send to her friend. “It was cool for it to be me, as one of her close friends, to be able to tell her, ‘you actually did it! There are hundreds of kids who are getting help here,’” recalled Candice.

“Each of you should give whatever you have decided. You shouldn't be sorry that you gave or feel forced to give, since God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

When Candice reflects on that day, she thinks about how amazing it is that her friend worked so hard and gave so much to people she would never be able to meet. She made hundreds of bracelets for hours every day and then sent that money 8,000 miles away and never expected to see it again. “It was inspiring to see how one little girl can do something that is now impacting hundreds of lives. There are hundreds of kids that use that clinic to receive healthcare.” Candice explained, “it was amazing to have that personal connection—to know this person and her story and how much she cares about people. I’m honoured to see the legacy of her life. Even though she was young, it shows how much one person can rally people together to impact the lives of people that they’ll never meet.”

Carrie-Ann gave selflessly to the children of Zimbabwe, and expected nothing in return. She never imagined that ten years later, God would send Candice to show her the fruits of her labour. God blessed Carrie-Ann because she gave cheerfully. When God’s word says, “You shouldn’t feel sorry that you gave or feel forced to give”, that means that we shouldn’t give because there is an expectation for us to do so, or because you think people might like you more if you do. God wants us to give because we’re so excited to show others the love of Jesus in our hearts that we can’t help but be generous. Giving to people in need should come naturally to us as Christians, and we shouldn’t expect anything in return. God will bless us as He did Carrie-Ann, because He LOVES a cheerful giver!

Are you looking for ways to give to others? There are many exciting ERDO projects you can be part of. To learn more, visit erdo.ca.