Friday, November 11, 2011

Obscene Generosity

What does it mean to be “obscenely generous?” I remember sitting in a money management workshop at church and hearing this phrase for the first time. Kind of catchy, I thought. But as I watch an increasing number of people engaging in the ministry of Surprised by Hope for the benefit of East African people, I begin to get a glimpse of what that phrase really means.

Individuals joined together to lift up a women’s group in the slums of Uganda by sponsoring girly dresses – sometimes on behalf of children or grandchildren and sometimes just for the girls and women of East Africa. These girly dresses – 15 of 40 are sponsored – provide a girl with a dress and tailor graduate with startup materials. We may even be able to get another sewing machine.

A couple who had triplets experienced the generosity of their church family and then gave all their like-new clothing for the babies in East Africa. Clothing that could easily have been sold – more than 250 adorable and complete outfits make up 55 pounds of luggage. This couple chose to pay them forward.

A lady preparing to go Home hopes those who are learning a skilled trade will find as much use from her sewing notions as she once did. Scissors, buttons, snaps, elastic, and piles of other unique notions fill a giant box.

To acknowledge the tough American economy is tempting. We could say, “I barely have enough for my own family.” Instead these people are choosing to live the obscenely generous life. Their hearts are giving all they have so that others may have hope. Remembering that we live in a God’s economy and not the world’s economy makes all the difference. I teach East Africans that God’s economy is one of abundance not scarcity. God’s economy is counterintuitive. Give it all away and he’ll give you even more. What about you? Do you trust God enough to be obscenely generous?