Over six days in Taipei, I learnt the meaning of living a radically generous life. At a conference run by the leaders of Generosity Path, we explored the ways we could share joy by giving our time, talent or money.
Generosity Path is an organisation which encourages people to be generous in areas where they have been a lot. They run Journey of Generosity retreats which bring people together to teach them about the joy of giving. The idea for Generosity Path started when four American friends in the late 90s found giving at a low rate and wanted to encourage others to give more. They were inspired by the joy of generous givers and wanted to share that joy with others. The Generosity Path leaders believe everyone can be a giver from what they have in abundance
The conference was for the supporters of Journeys of Generosity from around the world. There were forty attendees from South Africa, Australia, China, America, Korea and more countries.
At first, we introduced ourselves. Representatives from each country shared their experiences of giving. We heard the story of Monica*, an Indian mum and how she overcame domestic violence to start a business and build a new life for her and her son. After each sharing, the leaders would come and pray over the group from that country. We would watch and listen as each person told us their story and received their prayers until everyone had had their turn.
As we heard their stories and got to know them, we learnt that each person came from a different background. What brought us together was that we had all experienced the joy of giving and felt blessed by our opportunities to give. And while we all came from different countries we had all experienced the Journey of Generosity and now our desire to be generous had brought us together.
I liked the focus on sharing and community. Although we all came from a background of Christian faith, the focus was not on preaching or listening to sermons. Instead we were encouraged to build community and relationships. The sessions started with a video which featured stories from different countries. After the videos we would discuss what we had seen and heard, and we would study Bible verses which talk about being generous. This way we not only got to know each other but we also got to know ourselves better. By figuring out how our personalities impacted our giving we were able to form a giving plan to help us going forward.
Being generous is good but the conference taught that a giving plan can help us structure our giving. With a giving plan we can map out how much we give and the percentage of our giving in the areas we are passionate about. We played the ‘World Cup of Deep Gladness’ which broke down our personalities to figure out which causes stir our hearts. The options ranged from evangelising to healing sickness, feeding the hungry or protecting the environment; wherever we felt God leading us to give most generously.
As we were preparing to leave, I felt inspired by the people I had gotten to know. The leaders themselves were very humble and full of joy. I couldn’t tell they were the Generosity Path team! But each person encouraged me in the way they lived and gave themselves for the sake of others. I left Taipei with a desire to work harder so I too can give more. I am certain that all of us have something valuable to give
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11
To learn more about Generosity Path and Journey of Generosity, click here.
*not her real name