Inspiring Generosity

Over the past year, I have been privileged to meet up with Dr John, an inspirational speaker. Most months we have been able to catch up over a cuppa in his home. Dr John and Sue, his wife, live in the UK and you can read all about their story in the website: http://johnbradshawtalks.co.uk/ 

My Story

I grew up in Zimbabwe during the civil war. After finishing school I was conscripted into the army and volunteered to join a specialist unit defusing booby trapped land-mines. During that time I was badly injured and am now totally blind.

After partially recovering from my injuries, I pursued an academic career. I obtained a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and went on to teach university level Computer Science for several years. At the same time, I managed a large undergraduate residence at the University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg.

Following a successful career in the academic world, I returned to the family farm to pursue my dream. After 7 successful and happy years, we were evicted as part of Mugabe’s land redistribution programme, having been given just 24 hours to vacate the farm. We lost both our homes and our livelihoods.

Determined to stay in my beloved country, I returning to education, as headmaster at one of Zimbabwe’s leading independent schools, Watershed College. From there I was approached to head the top girls boarding school, Peterhouse Girls. I am told that I was the only totally blind headmaster running a “normal” school in the world.

In 2014 due to the continued difficult political situation and family commitments, I resigned as headmaster and moved to the UK with my wife Sue and Sabre, my guide dog.  We now live in Sherborne, Dorset.

If you are based in the UK, then maybe you would like to arrange for Dr John to speak at your business or organisation or function. His desire is to inspire people to be generous in their relationships with iothers.

Generous Conversations

How many people have you talked to today?

Conversation 

This is maybe a surprise question but I believe an important one. Taking time to engage meaningfully with others – such as staff in shops and supermarkets –  is very important to everyone. The bank, which I use here in the UK, encourages their staff to be friendly and to “connect” in a real way with customers. They sometimes ask a question like: “Do you have anything interesting lined up for the rest of the day?” or “Do you have anything special in your schedule this afternoon/morning?” Excellent communication skills.

While travelling in an inter-city train recently, I noted an advert. It depicted a “senior youngster” looking somewhat sad.  The script stated that she had not spoken to anyone for 3 weeks or so. Thus readers were encouraged to text a suggested gift of £3 to the organisation that would enable the lady to have a lunch out and make friends. In the script, it also stated that there were 1 million others just like her in the UK who were in similar situations.

Quite a challenging advert…. I checked it with someone else in the caring profession who endorsed the fact that many folks went for long periods without talking to anyone…. Let’s turn this situation around.;…

Recently, on a train journey, I had the wonderful experience of being able to dialogue with the person sitting next to me for about 2 hours…  It was so rich and interesting as we had both been overseas on assignments. On arrival, I was able to meet other members of the family….

Noticing a business commuter on an evening train doing a puzzle…. I said “Good evening..” He was so grateful to be able to talk to someone. He shared how so often no one would engage in conversation. As we dialogued, he asked me a question he had been desiring to ask someone in the Non-Profit world. “Should he have a significant donation to lodge with our organization, how would we guarantee that it reached his desired destination?”. It was a privilege to outline our verification process for recipient projects. He was very grateful, I then enquired if I might ask him a question. ” Should he hear of a country manor house management that was looking for good managers could, he let us know?” “Look out for the phone call..” was his kind response.  His business was designing special showrooms for cars, furniture etc….

Global Nomad….

Caring Generosity

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_age

Caring has many facets and is seen in such a variety of situations. This week I have seen and been reminded afresh of such Caring Generosity. Watching one of the staff in a restaurant so naturally sharing with a senior grandmother in a wheelchair. Sharing a special drink with her sip by sip over 10 mins or so. Really special for sure.

Then hearing of other family members who push their senior parent in a wheelchair about a quarter of a mile to a restaurant to enjoy a meal together roughly once a week. Devotion and quality Caring Generosity.

The Free Wheel Chair project seeks to make such mobility enhancement tools available internationally. What a blessing to those who receive them. They send a container load to organisations worldwide. Caring Generosity indeed. https://www.freewheelchairmission.org/ourwheelchairs

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GENEROSITY ON WHEELS

Having wheels can be such a blessing.  Especially when folks are on leave in their home country for a month or so. It has been so encouraging to meet up with groups internationally who have the vision to assist in such situations. There are two currently operational in the UK. If you’d like to know more about them, do drop me a line.

Have also been aware of one in South Africa but have not read about it recently. Such provision channels are brilliant and enable folk to achieve their home assignments well. There are so many ways to be generous.

Global Nomad

## Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Sewing Generously

 

 

 

Harriet’s success story Tailoring Project On 8th November, 2016, I had a joy of giving Harriet a sewing machine from Tools With A Mission [TWAM] in the company of her husband Juma. She is the first person to have received one of the tools from TWAM. She was overjoyed and full of gratitude. The machine is very strong and durable as well as being able to sew all kinds of fabric materials. Inside the case, she discovered almost 4 meters piece of cloth. Harriet will use this material to generate more income for her family. Harriet is also using the machine to impact the lives of young women and mothers using her skills through training them in sewing different designs for women and kids etc. The dress she wore in the photo was made by her. One of her possible future plans is to set up a tailoring workshop to train both the Diaspora and the locals. There are 11+ potential projects being worked on. Thanks to TWAM [www.twam.co.uk] for their wonderful vision. Above  are some of Harriet’s products

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Another generous meal….

 

 

Below is an amazing story from Graham, who coordinates the Dorcas Trust in the UK. The way Graham was led to establish the Dorcas trust is quite a story.  Basically through a surprise visit to Manila. You are welcome to learn more through contacting us. Now over to Graham……

Michael Duran is Just one  of the young people whose life has been changed because you gave and prayed. The picture above,  shows him, now age 19, on the Dorcas farm  last June. He is  holding a photo of  himself at age 13 ,  a street  boy in Manila, sitting on a bench eating a  meal I had bought for him, at which time he was addicted to computer games.

Before he  returned to live with his mother last summer, he wrote:

 “The Lord has  changed me, taken away my vices, drugs and cigarettes and altered my attitude so I am now ‘a new person’. I am so happy knowing I have the Lord in my life. My dream is to finish study and become a social worker and to help children to know Jesus too. I have a great desire to serve the Lord in  many ways. One is to be a living testimony to street children so they also know the love of Jesus.”  

Graham…

The Generous Potato

ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO

Rachael is a 40-year-old widow and lives in Kenya with her family of seven. She has three of her own children, is a guardian of another two, and also looks after her sister’s two children. With no savings, no home and no way of making money, desperate times fell on Rachael so she took her family and sought shelter with her brother in an informal settlement in Nairobi.

Dark days
In 2009, nine years after her husband’s death, Rachael fell ill with meningitis and was forced to spend the money she’d been saving for a business on hospital fees. Life became so difficult that at one point, Rachael even considered abandoning the two extra children because she couldn’t afford to feed them.

Rachael says, ‘I saw total darkness in broad daylight.’

Potatoes galore
But since 2015, Rachael’s life couldn’t be brighter. And it’s all thanks to Women of Faith, a self-help group run by Tearfund partner, St. John’s community centre (SJCC), and… the humble potato! Through members saving only a small amount of their own money each week, Women of Faith was able to loan Rachael enough money for a one-eighth sack of sweet potatoes. Rachael boiled and sold the potatoes, and within two weeks was able to pay off her loan and take out a bigger loan to buy more.

After clearing the loan, Rachael borrowed enough money to buy half a sack of potatoes. Business is now thriving and Rachael is earning more than enough to feed and educate the children in her care.

A secure future
Through the confidence she has gained from being part of the self-help group, Rachael now attends the local chief’s meetings where she encourages other women to set up their own business. Rachael is on a mission to ensure that bereaved doesn’t have to mean bankrupt for Kenya’s women.

[Article by kind permission of Tearfund UK]

Discover more on:  http://www.tearfund.org/

Global Nomad.

GENEROSITY AT LUNCHTIME

Floris Claesz. van Dyck 001.jpg

Have discovered a delightful mini-restaurant in a local hospital. The staff are friendly and the food delicious. Visiting it recently, I discovered that I had not brought any cash with me and the restaurant does not have a card-machine or accept a cheque. Suddenly a cheerful customer, part of  a delightful family group, offered me a £5 note. Somewhat overwhelmed, I explained I had the money but not to hand. She said they would be delighted for me to enjoy a meal on them as it is Christmas.

I then spent time sharing with the family about Elijah and the meals by Raven which he experienced. They were very attentive…not sure if they had heard or read the story before. I then explained about the Raven Fund which sought to channel savings to  those with financial challenges. I shared with them that their gift would go via the Raven Fund to refugees in Kenya. They were delighted.

Generosity at lunchtime for sure….

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Collecting Generously

 

STAMPS AND COINS

Keen collectors have enjoyed building up their private albums as a hobby and possibly for their grandchildren, for generations. It is a popular hobby. Other keen collectors are saving postage stamps with a different purpose, they pass them on, in bulk, to the Leprosy Mission whose stamp specialists sort and sell these kind donations. Thousands of pounds have been generated through this activity enabling the LM to continue its valuable medical projects overseas. You  night like to be part of this project. They also collect coins. If so then check out the Leprosy Mission website. http://leprosymission.org/

POSTCARDS

Another group of keen collectors are gathering used and surplus pictorial  postcards which are then sold to professional collectors. Many thousands of pounds have been generated through these sales both at Postcard Fairs and online with E bay etc. Thus if you see such items being overlooked or not used, then collect them for MAF – the flying organisation that is saving lives internationally.  https://www.maf-uk.org/

Global Nomad.

 

Raven Generosity

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/31/3782_Common_Raven_in_flight.jpg/210px-3782_Common_Raven_in_flight.jpg

“THE RAVEN”
Consider the ravens…God feedeth them. — Luke 12.24
 I have commanded the ravens to feed thee. — I Kings 17.4
 
“I’m neither nightingale nor lark,
I neither soar nor sing;
A sombre bird of plumage dark,
Ungraceful on the wing.
I have, I fear, a croaking voice;
My use is hard to see.
‘Tis all too true! yet I rejoice;
For why? God feedeth me!
“He loves this all unlovely me.
He hears my cry; He cares,
He knows me at my worst, yet He
For all my need prepares.
He knows my worthlessness, yet still
At times His grace may choose,
For bearing errands at HIs will,
My useless self to use.
“So if I know no tuneful song,
I’ll croak as best I may.
If I can’t soar, I’ll flap along
My own old usual way.
If to some needier one I can
Some timely succour bring,
I’ve been some use to God and man;
Is that not everything?”

[From a book of poetry entitled: “Bells and Pomegranates”

by James M. S. Tait.]
THE RAVEN FUND.
You might like to consider setting up your personal Raven Fund. The concept is to put into that fund all the savings you make while shopping and travelling etc. It is amazing how these small amounts will grow and you will see the hundreds being available for sharing with those in need. Can assure you that this works and it has been such an encouragement to be able to channel resources to others at time of need. Try it out for a year is see how it works.
Global Nomad