“If you eat, you can give”

Chicken ready to cook

Used with permission

This is a really short post, but it has a great point. Richard Howell, General Secretary of the Asia Evangelical Alliance and of the Evangelical Alliance India, said to me that stewardship teaching in India recognizes that not everyone can give cash, but they can all give something. People are told that if they can eat, then they can give. The idea is that if you have a family of five, you cook for six and give the extra portion to someone who needs it. In northeast India, which is a Christian area, they tithe their food and firewood because cash is in short supply. They have “chicken missionaries” and “firewood missionaries” who go around to collect the goods and then distribute them to the needy.

When people who otherwise support your cause say “What can I do? I don’t have lots of money to give”, this story is an encouragement for them not to look at what they lack, but at what they have. Even the cash poor in Canada are wealthy compared to the poor in India, and if they are rich in generosity with what they have, then we in Canada should be rich in generosity as well. When prospective donors don’t have cash, ask them what else they have that they can give. If it is useful to your ministry, then gifts-in-kind and gifts of service can be very helpful. (The latter gift is not receiptable unless they charge for the service, you pay it, and then they donate the income back.)

Everyone can be a giver!

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