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 Jessy Levie from Switzerland.
Jessy and Benjamin grew up in India, but now live and work in Switzerland. Jessy has been a successful operations executive overseeing technical capital planning for a large multi-national corporation. Benji works with ambassadors and diplomats who come to Switzerland to work with the UN. They are parents to two children.
1. Generosity is a response to the generosity extended to us.
“My husband Benji first slept on a bed at the age of 18,” Jessy explains. “There were seven people living in two rooms. He was the only one sent to an English school because his parents dedicated him for God’s work. His dad was a fire officer and donated blood to pay his school fees. Someone he didn’t know payed for his college fees. He still doesn’t know who it was.” Jessy’s family also invested much for her education. “My dad was a senior officer with the Indian government,” she says. “He invested all he earned for our education. We were just two girls. In India, girls are less preferred.”
The generosity they experienced from their parents’ sacrifices have poured over into the Levis making sacrifices for other children in India..
2. Our giving passions often flow from our stories.
As they advanced in their careers, the Levis found themselves in a position to make the same thing possible for others. The generosity they experienced from their parents’ sacrifices have poured over into the Levis making sacrifices for other children in India. “The Lord put in our heart that we should start an organization. We now sponsor 200 children and it’s not a lot, but it’s a lot for us.” Through an NGO based in India, the Freedom in Christ Foundation (FICF), the Levis have opened the door for others to join them in giving to support development in India.
3. We all need to spread the message of biblical generosity.
The Levis are breaking a Swiss taboo by talking about giving, and encouraging others in Switzerland to be generous. They have established a foundation available to others. “We want it to encourage giving based on biblical principles of giving, [and] run in a way that is excellent,” Jessy says. “Even Christians don’t understand biblical generosity. One type believes they have debts so shouldn’t give until they settle their bills. Then another group gives gives gives and fails to pay their bills. Some churches talk about prosperity gospel, but most churches in Switzerland don’t talk about money, or about wealth, or about earnings. You never talk about it. The Christian community needs a little more knowledge about generosity.”
The Levis love to give to:
FICF works to eradicate poverty and educate children in poorer parts of India. “Everything is based on the love of Jesus,” Jessy explains. “We are not supposed to preach, but our work is all based on the love of Jesus. It’s a social development organization.” Through FICF, the Levis are able to sponsor education for children, just as their families did for them. “Many Swiss sponsors have now joined us in giving,” Jessy explains. “We find that Swiss sponsors like to invest in the lives of children. They like to get regular reports and know that their money is going to the right place.”