Each month, we introduce you to a Christian who is on the generosity path, and we ask them what God’s taught them about giving.
This month, meet Christus Frank Antony from India.
1. Gratitude Melts the Heart.
Never underestimate the power of a “thank you.” Christus tells the story that launched his family onto a generosity path: “We were finishing Sunday worship and coming out of church. The church has a home for Physically and Mentally challenged poor children on the premises. These children were standing at the gate collecting money so that people would give alms as they leave the church.” Riann (Christus’ daughter) made a gift to one of the children who was begging. “This little kid who was intellectually and physically challenged turned around, smiled and said ‘Thank you.’ To say ‘Thank you’ takes time, but there was something about it that was very personal. Our entire family—my wife and two children—had tears in our eyes. The gratitude was heartbreaking, but we also thought, they’re not supposed to do this. These kids from our church home should not be made to beg like that. So, we started exploring how to help financially.”
2. Giving Transforms Your Family.
Christus and his family knew that they wanted to do something. But what? That very week, they were invited to a Journey of Generosity. “It was God saying, ‘You’re thinking the right thing,’” says Christus, “but it also raised the question, ‘What’s next?’”
At the Journey of Generosity, the Antony family was asking God for clarity. “I’m a charismatic Catholic” Christus explains, “tithing is not mandatory in Catholic church and its teaching is that the Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for apostolic works and works of charity, and for the decent sustenance of ministers (CIC 222). However, as a family we have been tithing.” But God met them in a new way at the Journey of Generosity as stories like ‘God Owns My Business’ and ‘Catherine’s Car’ caught their attention.
At home, after the JOG, we started talking to our kids about generosity. We said, “We want to support these kids [at Mithra – church rehab home].” That week Christus went shopping with his son Avner (6).
“Avner was asking for a toy and he said ‘I need this.’ I said, ‘Avner, do you want to buy it or give money to Mithra children? When you give this to Mithra, you give that to Jesus. And he said, ‘Yeah, I would love to give to Mithra.”
Christus says, “My wife has taken the lead and now she ensures that we are giving. She asks me, ‘Have you transferred the money?’”
3. When Giving, State Your Expectations Clearly.
The Antonys’ step of obedience was to give the Mithra rehab home enough that they wouldn’t have to have the children begging for funds any more. They met with the leaders of the rehab home. “They’re amazing people,” says Christus, “and they didn’t want the kids having to beg either, but they weren’t sure what else to do.”
Christus says, “So I threw out a number that seemed pretty big for us, but we felt that’s what God wanted us to give. But the condition was that they could not have the kids beg anymore.” Christus reiterated that in a follow-up note as he transmitted the gift:
We were inspired by God our Father to make this contribution and ensure that the Mithra children should not beg in the church campus on Second Sunday’s. This is the message that we received and we want to obey to His Voice as a family. These children are made in the image of GOD Our Father and He cares for each one of them. He does not want them to beg. We submit this message to you in prayerful humility and in obedience to Him who loved us so generously and gave His Only Son even though we did not merit His sacrifice.
“We check and make sure. The kids aren’t begging anymore,” says Christus. “Now we’re giving more and are wondering, ‘Is there some other way that we can invest for the Kingdom? It all started with generosity.”