|This giver of God is always smiling. He makes others smile, too.|
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (KJV)
Give, give, give. Seems like there are always opportunities to give. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and exhausting. Who should I give to? How much can I give? Why am I even giving at all? In today's techy world, there are posts, tweets, emails and articles daily about how much more we need to give and why; to our communities, families, friends, and others we may not even know.
Think about it, do you give because you feel like you have to or because you want to? How can we be cheerful about giving? Let me introduce you to someone who inspires this exact charge.
It's always intriguing and refreshing to me when you meet a genuinely cheerful person.It reminds me of the quote from Amigos for Christ, "....what the world needs is people who come alive." When you first meet Danny, you think, "Wow, this young man has it right!" He's the kind of guy you want to be your brother, friend, role model and mentor for kids of all ages. If it weren't for Danny I would not have had the opportunity to serve in Nicaragua with Amigos for Christ (read my post about the experience), this past January. I would love to share his story with you.
During Danny’s first trip to Nicaragua, in July 2010, he came to understand a new way of life, a life based in bold and raw love. He describes this raw love as a simple love where people value not the worth of the clothes on his back, the language he spoke or the material things he has, rather they value the worth of him: his soul, his personality, his joy, and all that comes with life in general.
He describes his experience as one that left him zealous for a change in his life in mind, soul and body. This change also influenced Danny to start running and eating healthier to be more readily available to help in any capacity causing him to lose almost 100 pounds. This new zeal for life is what brought about his return to contribute to the progression of life in Nicaragua with Amigos for Christ.
|Danny during his transformation: physically and spiritually.|
Danny didn't let his passion for Nicaragua diminish: rather he sought out the opportunity to share the story of Amigos for Christ and his experience in Nicaragua with faculty at Rockhurst University once he became a student, which influenced the University to begin taking a trip to Chinandega, Nicaragua alongside of Amigos for Christ. Because of his passion, several groups of us have had the amazing opportunity to give in Nicaragua.
Danny’s journey has continued over the past 4 years as he spent 3 weeks in the summer of 2011 and 2 full summers in 2012 & 2013 serving as an intern with Amigos. Reflecting on his time working in Nicaragua and looking ahead to the future Danny says,
What has captivated my heart is just what is written in 1 John 4:19 [We though are going to love- love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love]. I have experienced a crazy amount of love from the people of Nicaragua and I now see that I can put that love back into action through my work with the students in the Scholarship Program.
|Be a cheerful giver. I AM!|
Danny’s position on staff with Amigos for Christ will primarily work alongside the students receiving scholarship who are each sponsored by a donor here in the States. He is going to facilitate relationships between students and sponsors through Skype meetings, letters and other updates throughout the year. He is also going to support the students socially and academically by overseeing their requirements for maintaining scholarship, organizing retreats and serving as a mentor for these Nicaragua teenagers. With his support as a mentor he hopes to offer each student the opportunity to discover and seek after his or her dreams.
Let me end by giving you this: you don't have to go to Nicaragua to serve or give, you can serve and give to others in your own home! But, our world needs brothers and sisters in Christ to go out there and be cheerful givers in remote places. Danny, is one of these people. Even though you cannot go with him, you can be there for him and those he will serve; by educating yourself, passing this message on and/or donating to this cause.
Sometimes we need a little help from our friends...our amigos.
Sing it Joe!