“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
One of the best things about working for Glasgow City Mission is the frequent opportunity to bask in the generosity of others.
The City Centre Project Team, myself included, are fairly sheltered from the process of fundraising. We know how hard our administrative staff work, we occasionally make a brief appearance in an appeal video, but for the most part, we don’t even think about it. Is this not a miracle? We can trust and rest in God’s provision, which appears in every donation, big and small. I hope that you, if you are or ever have been a donor, know the significance of your sacrificial giving.
The kindness of our donors means that sometimes we can really treat our guests. Guests’ birthdays can be celebrated with cake and cinema trips. New mums can be blessed with baby clothes and nappies. Pretty plants are delivered to new homes. One of the current ways your kindness is shown is with supermarket vouchers. Sometimes I refer guests to a foodbank. I am so grateful for this local provision of necessities, but I always imagine, and am often told of, guests taking a bag of food home only to discard items that aren’t suitable for them or their families. A supermarket voucher gives the guest the small luxury of choice – of browsing and then picking out food they enjoy. Recently I had the joy of supplying multiple vouchers to some families supported by our Child and Family Centre in Govan. As I wrote addresses on envelopes, I imagined the feeling of relief that a worried parent might feel when they discovered £30 of vouchers sent to them, no questions asked.
God’s generosity is not solely focused on Glasgow City Mission! A week before Christmas we received an online enquiry from a family in crisis. A worried mother was facing a Christmas with nothing but a bare tree and a food parcel for her partner and four children. As we spoke I discovered that she wasn’t even in Glasgow. A quick text to some colleagues – “do we have any connections with churches in Stirling?” and I was away. One church offered to gift the family £200 of vouchers for Argos, and the minister of another (thanks, Google) promised to drop off a selection of treats and sweets on Christmas Eve. Siblings in Christ stepped up and pulled out all the stops to work together to provide this family, beloved of God, with a Christmas to remember.
As Christians, we can be generous because we serve a generous God. Joe, our Men’s Worker, spoke with me about a new guest with complex needs he has just started working with. We had talked about it from a practical perspective, and the next day I happened to bump into him in the corridor right before his meeting with the guest. What a privilege it was to offer to pray, and then to commit Joe and the guest to our loving and lavish God. We entrust this guest and others to God’s care, knowing the depth of love that exists for each and every one of them.