In 2nd Corinthians 8:3, Paul shares about the people from the church in Macedonia, “For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means of their own accord.” Paul’s words paint a beautiful picture of the heart of a sacrificial, cheerful giver. I have the privilege of getting to know many people who share the heart Paul describes – our donors. Our donors have many faces: men, women and children who come in a variety of ages, backgrounds and circumstances.
It may be the woman I talked with on the phone, who has faithfully given for over 20 years, sacrificing from her fixed income to help others she knows are really in need. As you hear her heart coming loudly through the phone, she is clearly not worried about herself but more concerned about others.
Another example is a donor who called during one of our most difficult times in the economic downturn, knowing that the Mission needed extra help. He picked up the phone to provide encouragement and also let me know he was mailing a large check to Atlanta Mission. I still remember that conversation, followed by me pulling to the side of the road with tears in my eyes and being reminded in dramatic fashion of God’s faithfulness to provide our needs through people.
I recall seeing a young man give money that he had saved for several years in order to help Atlanta Mission.
He had no desire for recognition, he just wanted to give what he could to help others.
I think of some loyal donors who budget with the monthly “envelope system” and send us regularly the leftover cash from each week. It might be $8 or possibly $16. Whatever they have left, they freely give.
Or it may be a Vietnam veteran with whom I had breakfast. He cared about our women and children so much that he sacrificially gave at the Agape member level ($5,000 per year) for several years. When he went to be with the Lord, he left money to Atlanta Mission from his estate.
It could be a special woman I know who soon will be 100 years old. She faithfully has been supporting Atlanta Mission every month since 1988 and is grateful to be able to do this!
See, just as the faces of homelessness are different, so are the faces of the many people who give to support Atlanta Mission. As I talk to these individuals, read their notes, and hear about their motivation to give, I think of what Paul said and how all of you are living examples of generosity and agape love.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I want to thank you for the generous gifts you give not only at Christmas but throughout the year. Thanks for being a trusted steward of the resources that God has given you. As you celebrate this Christmas season, know that your gifts are impacting the lives of those we serve and generations to come. Because of your sacrificial giving and obedience to the Lord, families and individuals are being restored.
From the Atlanta Mission family to yours, may you have a very Merry Christmas!