Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:7
 
At Light of the World, we believe gifts were meant to be given. We also believe in giving the way Jesus did—through multiplication.
 
When it came to feeding a hungry congregation of 5,000+, Jesus didn’t go at it alone. He knew He could cover more ground if He prayed over the food, gave it to His disciples, and then watched it multiply.
 
So, on October 14th, while teaching on the principles of giving during our generoCITY series, we decided to put our money where our mouth is and distributed $5,000 throughout our city by putting it in the hands of our members via envelopes filled with varying denominations.
 
The instructions were simple:
  • Look for those around you who are in need of this kind of blessing right now. People near or far to you, strangers, etc. Do not consider re-gifting this back to the church — it is meant for our community!
  • Enter a time of prayer for God’s Spirit to lead you to the person in need right now. You may hear from God immediately or in a couple of days. Pay attention to where God pulls your heart.
  • If you have children who are helping, take time to listen to all the ideas. Let them lead in the conversation as they are often way more perceptive and in tune to needs around us than we think.
  • We ask that you complete this activity by October, 31.
  • After the activity, share with us the good news of your outreach.
 
Here are some of the stories we received:
 
“When I was given my envelope at Church, I prayed and ask the Lord to guide and lead me to the right individual to bless. While at work, I overheard a conversation with a young lady speaking to another employee about how she needed $50.00. The other’s woman response was for her not to worry, because things have a way of working themselves out. I didn’t hear all of the details of the conversation, however; I decided this lady would be the woman I would help.
I was given $20.00 in my envelope and I added an additional $20.00 to make it $40.00. I had shared with my sister about the person I decided to help. She gave me her envelope that had $20.00, giving a total of $60.00 to give. This would meet the $50.00 need she had with a little extra to spare.
When she received the envelope with the money, she began to cry, because she could not believe someone would just give her money. She was truly overwhelmed. About 20 minutes later a manager came up to me and thanked me for helping her. He stated she deserved it, because she is a hardworking and excellent worker, and is never late to work. He saw her crying and asked her what was wrong, and she handed him the envelope with the note I gave her. I shared with the manager your message about generosity and giving to others. I also told him that our pastor believes it is the church obligation to help people with needs in the community. He totally agreed.
Another co-worker came up to me and thanked me for helping her. She told her what I did. She informed this co-worker she only had $14.00 left for the week and had to put all the money to get gas to come to work that Monday. She was so excited, she was telling everyone in our department. People were thanking me. I had to explain to all of them, that it was the Lord, who blessed her, and I was only a tool that he used.
She was so excited, she informed me that I started her first blessing that morning, and she also received an excellent evaluation along with a very nice pay raise, and was also given a certificate from the department for being a good worker the same day.”
 
We had 3 envelopes. The total amount we had was $50. One day after school Xxxx and I went to Longhorns in Rookwood. Xxxx & I had been discussing who we would bless and how. Our waitress was super nice and we decided to bless her. I believe her name was Emma. We added $20 and tipped her $70.
I waited for Xxxx to come back to the table and we explained our instructions and handed her our bill and the LOW cards. As she walked away she looked at the bill and turned around in tears and came back to our table. I hugged her and I told her God loved her.
The look on her face made me want to pump my fist in the air and yell, “Yeah!!!!” Seeing others blessed, blesses us.”
 
“So I had been praying all day today on who to give my generoCITY gift to. And I was talking to my co worker, who is a single parent, was frustrated because her son’s school trip was $700 and to put his picture and a message in his yearbook was $32 and she just took out the last $20 she had in her account to buy herself a snack. And whatever she had left from her snack she would put back into her account and try to find the rest elsewhere. So I call her into my office and gifted her my amount ($20) which was enough for her to do his yearbook picture and she says “do I have to do something Godly with it? Like do a pay it forward thing.” I say it’s up to you while laughing. But I could tell she was grateful because her eyes welled up.”
 
“After receiving our instructions (10/14), my thought was that I would be able to complete the assignment by gifting the money to one of the seniors I knew at the center I attended. I shared this with my sister who agreed if there was someone or several seniors with a need, we could combine our money. On Sunday evening, I prayed and asked God to let me know who the recipient(s) would be. I didn’t feel led to anyone on Monday or Tuesday. On Tuesday evening, I reminded God of my prayer requests, including the gift giving task at hand.
On Wednesday, I felt led to share with our Seniors Center’s President about the church’s GeneroCity mission and asked her if she knew of one or two seniors, living in the senior’s apartments near the center, who may need a financial blessing. She said she was sure there were some, but that she would check with the social worker. I didn’t hear anything back from her by the end of the week.
On Sunday (10/21), my sister shared with me that she had been led to someone on her job that could use a large financial blessing. I told her I had not received an answer regarding any seniors so I would give her my gift to add to her blessing and that I would let the Seniors Center’s President know not to worry about finding someone.
On Monday (10/22), the first thing the Seniors Center’s President did when she approached me was to hand me a slip with a name on it and said this is a senior who could really use a helping hand. I took the slip and thanked her.
Three things I knew immediately after receiving that slip of paper: 1) I would give the same blessing that I had originally received to this individual 2) I had allowed myself to become anxious in well doing and not waited for my true answer since I didn’t want to miss the 10/31 deadline. This was even though one of my daily scripture is Philippians 4:6 3) I would be blessing 2 individuals – one through the church’s GeneroCity mission and one through my personal gifting which is what the church wants us to be able to do as we continue to learn and grow in our gift giving.”
 
“I finally paid it forward, after praying, praying, and praying. This past Sunday I went to dinner with a couple of friends, celebrating life, and my former co-worker’s new position. There we encountered a waitress who was overwhelmed with a big party before us, and even more people after them. During our time there, she provided us with excellent customer service as if we were her only customers, and kept a beautiful smile on her face, it was my pleasure to help keep that smile going. When she picked up the gift, and our cards from the table her eyes lit up, and she asked was all that for her, and smiled even brighter.
It was a good feeling to know that I made someones day a little brighter.”
 
“For my assignment I received $20. I decided to give my gift to Xxxx. The Friday before we received the money to give, Xxxx disclosed some issues she was battling with as we were on our way to game night with the single ministries. I prayed to make sure that is where I should have used my gift. As I prayed I was moved to add more money. I added $50 dollars to the gift and was able to drop the money off to her with the message “No need to work when you have faith.” She was very appreciate of the gift.”
 
“Finding someone to bless with the $20 that I received in the envelope, did not come as easy as I anticipated. Because I’m not from here, I do not know a lot of people which posed as a challenge for me. However, God eventually dropped someone in my spirit. This is a person that I do not know very well but works in the café in the building that I work in. If I may be completely honest, I was a little reluctant and hesitant with giving him the money for a couple of reasons. First, I invited him to church before because we were having a conversation in the café one day and he shared with me some of his past struggles and adversities. So, I told him about LOW and how it is truly a come-as-you-are church that it is very warm and inviting, laid back and that he would feel comfortable at LOW. So, when I thought of him to share the financial blessing with, I didn’t want him to think that I was trying to bribe him to come to church or make him feel obligated. Secondly, he is a young, black and single male and I did not want him to think that I had any type of romantic interest in him. Needless to say, I struggled with blessing him with the money. So, I waited, prayed about it and waited till the very last day before I gifted the money to him.
During one of our previous conversations, he told me about how he made some poor decisions when he was younger that led to incarceration. He also expressed how he was hopeful and thought that his chances were good of having the charges expunged from his record through a Second Chance/Criminal Expungement program. Although I do not know this young brother’s financial situation, I made the assumption that he may not have a whole lot financially. He even expressed gratitude for the manager of the café seeing something in him and looked past his flaws by offering him a job. He was grateful for employment.
So, on the last day that we were to complete the assignment, I went to the café to have lunch and he was there working. I struggled with finding the right opportunity to give him the money because there were so many people around including his co-workers (I wanted to be discreet). So, I wrote a note on a sheet of paper and placed the note, the $20 bill and the church’s business card in an envelope and handed it to him while he was at the register. I told him to read it when he got a chance, he said okay and I walked off.
The next day, I went back to the café and he gave me the BIGGEST hug and said that what I did was sooooo sweet. As much as I was reluctant to bless him with the money because I was concerned with how it might look on the outside, I am grateful that I was obedient to where God lead me. And who knows, that act of kindness may bless him in a way that I may never know.”
 
“I wasn’t able to complete my activity by Oct 31st for what ever strange reason. I jump on FB Thursday night Nov 1, and the first post I seen was from someone I knew asking for help for a family who fell on hard times and were homeless at the moment, they found housing but was short on the rent and deposit. I knew after reading the post that was the person meant for me to help and why I didn’t find anyone to help my the 31st. I was able to meet with the person collecting the money and was able to donate. Enough people reached out to help the family and enough money was raised.”