Summer is over and our lives here at Inca Link have been very blessed this summer/winter break! I’d throw you a bunch of stats from these last few months, but I’m guessing no one is really interested in the numbers. As I think through the last 3 months, the site coordinators, the interns, the teams, Corban, the many, many, many churches we visited in the eight countries we DROVE to, the incredible people we met, I feel like Inca Link is so blessed.
Why? What’s the blessing? Is it all about the help we got with our Inca Link projects? Nope. Is it all about the money that came in? Nope. Is it meeting fun new people? Nope. Is it hanging in the van with some of my favorite boys in the world? Nope. All these things were a blessing, but it was more than that. Then I saw it…. the common thread…. It was about the GENEROSITY we saw all around us, and the effect it had on the ones being generous as well as those receiving the generosity!
Generosity is tricky. Most associate the word with giving away money. This season Inca Link saw generosity in many different forms: time, patience, second chances, believing the best in others, being slow to anger.
Many judge if someone is being generous by the effect it has on the ones being given to, instead of judging by the effect it has on the “giver”. I realized during this time that I cannot be generous in anyway, if I don’t feel the “burn”, “the sacrifice”. Generosity costs. It’s hard. Even being generous in a little thing like attitude! It’s a struggle, especially if you are living out of your comfort zone! Our teams and interns set the bar really high this year, and doing so brought them fruit, fruit that will last forever!
But our teams and interns weren’t the only ones doling out the generosity! Everywhere we were on the Corban tour, we experienced generosity. Inside the van and outside of the van! There were situations that blew me away. For example: some churches we visited believe that housing and feeding God’s servants (ie Corban and especially Rich) will bless them in a special way. This makes sense, both the Old and New Testament can support this belief. I gotta tell you, I really wanted this to be true for the people who housed us. I mean, they had no idea who we were, and yet they opened up their home to us. We have to admit that there is not a lot of hosting of strangers in our homes in this day and age! Anyways, I wanted this to be true, because so many people were generous having so LITTLE materially. Their hearts however, WOW, they just gave and gave and gave! People who had next to nothing were sharing the very best they had with us! Mishayla, Alexa and I stayed in a home with 3 orphan girls whose mother had JUST died days earlier! The oldest girl was 23. How I wanted our very presence to mystically, undeniably bless them! Did it? Hmm…honestly I don’t know if our presence did anything, but I did notice over and over again that in the act of being generous our hosts were blessed. It wasn’t about my presence, or Corban’s presence, it had to do with the blessing that happens when one is generous!
True generosity is an extension of faith in the end. We’ve seen how generous our teams have been. Leaving all things comfortable, to serve those they do not know, playing, cuddling, loving those they hardly can communicate with. We experienced a group of interns who were so generous with their time, their patience, their attitude, their transparency, and their love! We experienced the generosity of our site coordinators who give up vacation, privacy, health, safety, control, to organize and care for our teams and interns. We experienced generosity from our missionaries and directors of projects as they struggled to understand the ways of the different cultures they worked with, and then became a beautiful extended family. We experienced generosity from Corban, who in blind faith just loaded up in a van and travelled 45 days into foreign lands, into homes of our unknown brothers and sisters, into the cold winter that some had never even imagined existed, sacrificing income, health, sleep and comfort to be a part of seeing God move in others lives.
So, with a thankful heart I write this newsletter, representing all of us at Inca Link: Thank you so much for being generous! We want to hear how it has affected your life, because the positive effect it had around here is pretty obvious! I also want to encourage you to keep being generous! I truly believe generosity is the cure to a lot of empty lives out there. And if you don’t believe me, I leave you guys with a proverb that has been on my wall for the last few months:
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.