Every second Thursday our missional community (MC) and other friends go down to the main train station in Prague to serve our friends that are homeless. It has been a blessing to get to know many of these people on personal levels over the last two years as we have served drinks, food, soup, and given them clothing. To know the name and the story of a person that you might pass on the street changes everything. They are no longer an object of scorn that you can just look down on. They become a person.
BUT there are still moments that are challenging. In November, we made our way down to the train station and as we drew closer to our friends, one of the guys that I have had deeper conversations with and met outside of the second Thursdays came up to me and took my hat, my favorite New Era Lions cap, off my head and said, “Thanks I really wanted one of these.”
My first thought was, “Wait, that’s my hat!” Then the wrestling match in my heart began with God. I could hear the still, quiet whisper, “Zach, let it go. Be generous, you can get another hat.” But my heart wanted none of that and I retorted with, “But he just took it off my head and I, I…”. I had nothing.
There are times when my reaction is much different, times when I’ve given the shirt off my back to people. I try to live a life of service to others, but then there are these default moments where I cling and hold on to “my” stuff. I’m thankful for these moments where I’m operating out of the ugly default because it allows me to see that I still very much need Jesus. It allows me to see that I need His Spirit to continue to change me. This is why our MC serves and lives on mission together, because when we do this together, we can see where we need Jesus to speak into and change us.
This situation got me thinking about GENEROSITY. Generosity is a theme in front of us often during the holidays, and it has been Míša’s and my refrain since we touched down in the States on December 7th. On that second Thursday of November, my heart was stubborn and the posture of generosity I fight to have and live was somewhere else. God has a funny way of working though. I was reminded quickly of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:8 “…Freely you have received; freely give.” Our gifts, abilities, talents, families and, ultimately, salvation have been given to us, but all too often we, or at least I, don’t have the response that Jesus spoke of: that I have freely received, therefore I should freely give. With this I let go of my precious hat and looked my friend square in the eye and said, “Great, I hope you enjoy the hat.”
Our refrain has been and will continue to be, “Your generosity allows us to be generous. Generosity melts hearts, opens hearts and changes hearts…” We have been told by our friends in Czech that the greatest apologetic they saw to influence them was our generosity, which also means the generosity of the people who sacrificially pray and give, so that we might live and do ministry in the Czech Republic. In fact, we have heard it so much in the last few months, that our goal is to be more generous with our time, resources, money and whatever else we can be generous with, because we see how God indeed does change hearts as a result of generosity. It creates curiosity in the minds and hearts of people. “I might not believe what they believe, but the way they love, and freely give inspires me and I want them around me and here in Prague.”
Generosity melts hearts, opens hearts and changes hearts. As we’ve pondered this, it lines up well with one of our main prayer requests for us as we serve in Prague: we have been asking that people would pray for sustained momentum for us, as we live through a constant cycle of momentum beginning and then a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching event takes place and sets us back further. So we ache for and long for sustained momentum, so that we might see more hearts changed and more lives impacted. So what does this have to do with generosity? The answer is found in Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
The motivation behind our generosity isn’t to prosper or be refreshed. Our motivation to give and be generous is because Jesus was more generous with us than we can ever imagine. This verse has encouraged us that in the face of difficulties or, as I wrote, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching events, we shouldn’t shrink back. Rather, we need to be more generous and allow God to use the generosity to lead to sustained momentum or how Proverbs 11:25 puts prosperity and refreshment.
With that being said, would you help us, the Harrodovi, as 2018 closes out and we set our sights on 2019? Would you consider being generous, so that we could be generous in Prague? We so badly need prayer that God would move and continue to provide for us, but we also need to meet some financial goals so that we can continue to live and do ministry and Prague and moreover so that we can be GENEROUS! If you want to give, click HERE.
Thank you in advance, as your generosity will allow us to be generous!