Living Generously as a Family

Orphans+Sponsorship+Family // April 23, 2019 //

God has a tender heart for the vulnerable, and one way He calls His children to be imitators of
Him is by giving generously and caring passionately for widows and orphans. Covenant Mercies
allows us to do just that, and we are so grateful to partner with them to demonstrate the Father’s
heart for the fatherless. Because of their holistic and gospel-centered approach to orphan care
(and wise intentionality to include indigenous Christians in those efforts), it’s a joy to give the
money God’s entrusted us to support their mission.

But it’d be easy to make a giving commitment and then never give much thought to the money
exiting our bank account each month. To do so would miss out on God’s purposes for us in
living generously. Giving is an act of worship to God first, and an act of love for our neighbor
second. When we give, our hearts should always remain engaged in Him and in the people we
seek to bless.

One way we strive to keep our hearts engaged in the mission of Covenant Mercies is through our
family prayer schedule. We regularly pray for the efforts of Covenant Mercies on “Mission
Partner Mondays” and pray specifically for the children we sponsor on “Widow and Orphan
Wednesdays.” This serves to keep our sponsored children on our hearts, and also provides an
opportunity to disciple our own kids.

We don’t want this sponsorship to be something that just “mom and dad do.” We want it to be a
family effort. And so we remind our children of how very blessed they are to have a mother and
a father. We remind them that our sponsored kids are not just statistics or sad faces that illicit
sympathy. They are real kids like them. Kids who have likes and dislikes, talents and struggles,
ambitions and fears. Kids who laugh, cry, worry, and dream. Kids who need Jesus and can use
their gifts to serve Jesus. Just like them.

We also remind them that the material blessings we enjoy are never meant to end with us, but
that God calls us to share His provision with others. Sometimes we discuss this in a broad and
theoretical sense, explaining why giving is a higher priority in our family budget than certain
wants they may have. But we also try to help them make specific connections, asking questions
like: “What choices do you think our family can make in order to live more generously?” or “If
you were an orphan, how would you want Christian families to care for you?” or “How does it
make your heart feel when you give up something you want in order to bless someone else?” Our
children should experience that sense of sacrifice—that forgoing of desires to enable
generosity—and at the same time understand that sacrificial giving is a joyful practice.

The scope of the orphan crisis often feels daunting, and we’re neither called nor capable of
providing for each and every child. But we are called to generously sow what God has given
us—not out of compulsion, but as a reflection of His compassion—and to teach our children to
do the same. And we can do so with joy, knowing that Jesus’ words are true: it is more blessed to
give than to receive.