We recently asked Tearfund supporters like you for your tales of generosity. You came back with a stack of inspirational stories. Be amazed by tales of trampolines, trust behind bars and angelic chocolate biscuits…
‘I woke one morning knowing that I needed to send £100 to some friends who were running a church in a shanty town in Peru.
'It turned out that they had been burgled and this money covered the lost items. It's amazing what God can do with a simple prompt.’
Revd Dr Andy Angel
Seeds of love
‘At 16 I needed a place to live.
You generously offered me that, and so much more.
You generously offered a home, Christian love and care.
The grief I caused you – battling through the memories of a traumatic childhood.
Invading your space, interrupting your lives.
You gave unceasingly.
I gained so much: security, parents to look up to and learn from, a grounding in faith.
My own children have a special Granny and Grampy who love them greatly.’
Head over heels
‘I told a colleague’s daughter that I used to attend a trampolining club. I finally gave in to her pleas to demonstrate some somersaults.
'She presented me with a Wispa bar to thank me. I later discovered that these were her favourite chocolate bars.
‘I was struck with the simple generosity of a chocolate-loving 6-year-old.'
Bonds of trust
'Over two decades ago, I was in prison. Because I didn’t smoke, was a little better off than fellow prisoners. First days in prison are hard, waiting for “canteen day". (When prisoners receive basic items they've ordered.)
‘I made sure that – while they waited – all new prisoners had tea, coffee, sugar and tobacco to keep them going. All available as an interest free loan.
'This went against the prison norms and everyone predicted that I would be ripped off. To our joint amazement everyone paid their debt back. Years after my own release, those loyal prisoners built up my business enterprise. They worked hard and faithfully to help me back into a new life.'
'The “angels” didn't just buy biscuits... they bought chocolate biscuits!'
Diana – Tearfund supporter
‘When my children were small, we were on very little income. One day, there was nothing left in the cupboard or the fridge. I prayed with the children, thanking God for his goodness.
'We went to the park. When we returned, there were bags of groceries on the doorstep. The children called it "angel shopping".
'For them, the excitement was that the “angels” didn't just buy biscuits... they bought chocolate biscuits!
‘This happened on several occasions, we never found out who had been so generous.
‘Now we have a steady income, I love surprising people with unexpected gifts. I remember that angels don't just buy basics, but chocolate biscuits too!
‘Rangeen is a Yazidi woman who works for Tearfund in Iraq, along with me. For Yazidis, the people around you are to be valued more highly than you value yourself.
'Rangeen goes shopping for snacks like chocolate and drinks. She comes back to work with a bag full of goodies. Then she goes around the office and asks if anyone wants anything she's bought.
‘She makes sure everyone is looked after before her own needs. And often returns to her desk without any of the items she bought.
'It is such an act of generosity. I've been trying to follow Rangeen's example more and more as it’s such an inspiration to me.’
Marika Pietsch (Programme Manager for Tearfund in Iraq)
Think of a time when you have been inspired by generosity. Or when someone else’s generosity has left you wanting to pay the kindness back, or forwards.
Ask for God to kindle a greater realisation of his generosity towards you and your loved ones. Pray that God will inspire you through this to become more generous towards others.
*Some names have been changed by request for anonymity.