Giving makes you richer.
Have you stopped to think about that? Today is Giving Tuesday. So it’s a good time to ask. No, we’re not talking some hair-brained “sew your seed and get rich quick” scheme. In fact, it’s worth pointing out, giving something away NEVER guarantees a financial return. When you give, guess what — it’s gone.
So how does giving make us richer? This letter reminded Eileen and me of the answer. A photographer couple we met earlier this year sent it to us over Thanksgiving:
“..we wanted you guys to know how thankful we are that we’ve met you and had an opportunity to spend time with you both this past year. We are also so thankful for your mentorship and leadership in the photography world. So many teachers and educators that are highly successful right now have no kids and make it all look so easy. We know you guys juggle full plates and prioritize raising your children above business and it’s so nice to see you guys reaching higher and higher plateau’s of success in your business.”
This couple just made the jump to photography full-time, quitting a teaching job that had provided their financial security. If you’ve ever been there, you know it’s a scary leap of faith! What our friend didn’t know is that — despite our own business successes — Eileen and I are going through a similar test of faith. As an American, I feel the cultural temptation to pursue material comfort. As a Believer in Someone greater, I’m reminded material wealth has no lasting value. People are eternally valuable.
We and our little girls will board a plane some time around April, bound for China. When we return, we will be a family of five, and our adopted son will have special needs. Giving our children the care they need means Eileen must transition into more full-time motherhood. Blume Photography will have to give away its most important asset and find a way to survive without her constant attention. Or perhaps the business won’t survive without her! Either way, we are all called to a higher purpose. We are called to Give.
Today we encourage you to “store up your treasure in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves cannot break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). Give to your favorite charity. Or if you’d like a recommendation, join us in giving right now to Engadi Ministries Intl. — restoring children in Guatemala’s violent slums to their full potential in Christ through a boys home and quality education. Engadi is the inspiring non-profit at the center of our documentary film Lost Boys of Paradise. (We love that Engadi’s work supports and strengthens communities in the longterm, not with meaningless handouts that only serve to ease our consciences while truly making matters worse. We recommend the book Toxic Charity if you’d like to think more about which charities make a real difference, and which ones really don’t.)
We are traveling to Guatemala again next month to serve them and update you on the amazing progress they’re making for Peace in the world’s most violent slums!
We’re thankful for you. We wish you a warm and meaningful holiday season!
Phillip & Eileen