a christian perspective on the world today

Measure of Generosity

A year ago, Aine would have sat at home, literally wondering where her family’s next meal would come from. Her husband works sporadically as a mechanic’s assistant in one of the rough settlements of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, but she would see little of his wage. Much of it was wasted on alcohol and other luxuries as his family waited at home, hungry.

Aine is a resident of Port Moresby’s Koku district. Her home is built on stilts overlooking the capital’s coast and while picturesque, it makes for difficult living. She, like the rest of her community, cannot plant backyard gardens to grow food to eat or sell. Unlike many of the city’s residents, they are forced to rely on a cash income to put food in their mouths. And when there’s no income, there’s no food.

“They have nowhere else to go,” she says, crowded with her extended family on the stilted, covered veranda that fills in as a bedroom for 10 come nightfall. “If I didn’t care, they’d be on the streets.”The tightening of our purse strings would cause most to look inwards. Yet Aine’s compassion and generosity exceed her daily struggle. In addition to her three children, Aine cares for up to 15 orphans!

Aine works hard to make ends meet, which is a difficult, nearly impossible task for someone experiencing poverty.

Then last year, Aine took part in a program run by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). “Before, there would be no food. Now there is always something to eat,” she says with a smile.

As part of the program, Aine learned about the importance of saving and was taught the skills she needed to start her own business. She is selling homemade cakes and clothes and saving to buy a bigger oven so she can grow her business.

Thanks to ADRA, Aine is now able to feed the 20 members of her extended family. She can also afford to pay the school fees for those in her care as they reach high school age—the majority of whom are not even her own children. And she is passing onto them the skills, knowledge and attitudes she has learned.

More than 200 women are taking part in ADRA’s Small Enterprise Development program in Port Moresby. In fact, in Aine’s own community, another group of women are not only using their new sewing skills to earn an income, they are also making school uniforms for families in their community who cannot afford them.

Aine has benefited from ADRA’s work in Port Moresby. She understands the transformation that takes place when someone gives with a generous spirit. That is why she offers her home, her food and her support to the children in need in her community.Their story reminds us that we do not need to have a lot to be generous. The intent of the giving is the measure of one’s generosity.

Thanks to the support of generous donors, ADRA’s work can continue worldwide. Because of Aine’s generosity, she is changing the lives of those around her. By taking on the same spirit, you can do the same.

Share this story

Before you go!

Get more Signs goodness every month! For less than the price of a hot beverage, you’ll get 8 amazing articles every month, as well as our popular columns What in the World, Ask Pr Jesse, a Crossword and Sudoku puzzle—and more!