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Stories of the Generosity Challenge

Stories of the Generosity Challenge

Over the last three weeks we have been challenged as a church to participate in the Generosity Challenge, each week being generous in a new and creative way! We hope this has been helpful and practical for you. Here are some of the highlighted stories that have been sent to us! If you have any additional stories we would love to hear them, please email them to info@agifshanghai.com

Week 1: Time

“We just came back to Shanghai after repatriated to NJ in July. Your Sermon came as a perfect reminder not to complain about the challenges of readjustment back to US after 19 years. Your sermon says “love takes time and love makes time” affirms our respond to His call of moving back to keep elderly parents companionship. Time is a gift to them. “Kairos” like Esther.”

“A friend of mine had and appointment last monday at Fujin Road, which is the terminal station of metro line 1 and is about 3 hours from our campus and asked me to see her off there since she didn’t know the road. I sacrificed my day to take her there and aided in bridging the communication gap she faced. It was such a great joy doing that, thanks.”

“I have spent 2 dinner from last Sunday to today, sharing with a young sister about some of her frustration at work. Praise God there has been some progress and still needs faith and God’s guidance!”

Week 2: Talents

“This week I offered to babysit for two families with needs at different times!”

“I was a christian for about a year and already the Lord was blessing me tremendously in ways I was never blessed before. Although life was tough and financially it was a difficult time, I knew the Lord was building my faith. And one way He did that through my financial situation. In those days I was teaching 2 kids for in total about 6 hours a week, which kept me alive and just covered my smallest needs. But I never gave up praying that the Lord would arrange my finances, and on a certain day, when I was on my way to church, the Lord put something in my heart and He asked me to empty my wallet and my pockets and give every single RMB to Him. Although my mind was slightly fighting against it, as I started to calculate how much it would cost to take me back home and to have something to eat for dinner. So my mind ended up to give everything I had, except for about 30RMB to get back home by bus and have something to eat and drink at a local noodle shop. Then the time of offering came and I already put the 30RMB aside, but then the Lord spoke to me again and He said to me “try it, give it all to me, have faith in me, trust me!” and while hearing that,without any hesitation, I took it all out,also the 30RMB, and put it in the offering bag, I was actually putting all my faith in Him and surrender myself completely to Him. I didn’t ask for any blessing, but they came. As I was hanging around after the service, suddenly somebody came up to me and asked me where I was living, so I told him where I lived and it seemed to be that we were living in the same neighborhood so he offered me a ride back home. Thank You Jesus, I said. And when he dropped me off, I bumped into a good friend I hadn’t seen for quite a while and that friend invited me to have a meal in one of the restaurants in my neighborhood. Remember, that was the part I wanted first to set aside, the 30RMB… then later on when I came home, something really amazing happened. I suddenly received 2 messages from the 2 families where I was doing some private teaching with the kids, and they asked me if they could introduce me to 3 other families to have classes with their kids. After reading these messages tears of joy came, by the end of that week I ended up with 7 new kids for private teaching… I was not asking anything back from the Lord, but I can ensure everyone that when You give with a generous heart, the Lord will give you more than you could ever imagine.”

“Using the gift that God has given me was validated. I work here in Shanghai with students that have special needs. I am a coordinator of a special ed program.” (Organized a soccer clinic for local children)

“Here is another…Through the years I was helping a very good friend with finances as she was finishing up in debts through several different kinds of situations. When she told me to pay me back the complete amount of money, I told her that she could do that with the ability that she had, no time frame, no interest, nothing… 1 year became 2 years, 2 years became 3 years and the so called debts from her towards me, became bigger and bigger and she was really getting into a very bad situation. So one day the Lord spoke to me and asked me to have mercy on her, so without any hesitation, I gave her financial mercy and I texted her a message and told her that I was setting her free from the huge debt she had towards me. In the days after this, I kept on praying for my own living circumstances, which were pretty poor and very unhealthy, but I kept on giving thanks to the Lord for the shelter He gave to me, the roof above my head, the walls around me, a bed to sleep… A couple of days later I received a message from a wonderful Chinese family, which I knew from the early days when I came to Shanghai, that they would move to Wuxi for the wife´s job for at least 6 months to begin with and maybe longer. In that message they offered me their duplex (apartment) with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and everything I could ever dreamed off completely for free for at least 6 until 9 months. I only needed to pay the utility fees. And on top of that, in 1 month my total of private students tripled. If you give generously, the Lord will be even more generous to you. No matter if it is in finances, in material needs or in any other kind of way, maybe it is in prayer, that those people you are generous to will pray for you. That’s actually the best gift that anyone can ever receive, because that prayer will bring amazing changes into people´s life. Prayer is the most important conversation of the day. The amazing part of this testimony is that on November 22nd, 2011 I received Jesus Christ in my heart and in my life and I got baptized on November 26th, 2011 in the same bathtub of the duplex (apartment) the family offered me.”

“Mike Burns and Ps. Esme were vital in encouraging me to go on the trip with the crew to the Philippines last year, and the whole group then accepted me following their lead, though the majority of them did not know me. So they had very generous hearts of love and openness to others doing missions with them, which was incredibly encouraging, especially when I was at a low point in my life without a job. Then, someone from Abundant Grace stepped up big time to help me financially. He paid the whole way for me to go to the Philippines, my flight, room, and even most of my meals!!”

Week 3: Treasures

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