Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10-12 NIV
God gives generously to us, and our grateful response is what empowers us to be generous with others. We have the opportunity every day to give God’s generosity to families, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and others who are in need.
In the words of John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Today, we’re excited to talk about what happens when we express our gratitude to God by being generous with other people.
Generosity leads to gratitude
Dr. Yvonne Thomas lived in the same neighborhood as Heather and Adrian Garcia. They invited Yvonne to church, and asked her if she would like to study the Bible together.
Yvonne started to get to know some of the women in the Garcias’ small group and develop friendships. She had always had a hunger to understand God and the Bible better, but had many questions and didn’t know how to apply the Scriptures to her life. Yvonne diligently read her Bible and prayed, asking many great questions along the way as she studied the Bible to learn God’s plan for her life. After years of working the night shift in her surgical work, she would often wake up very early and read her Bible for hours.
Yvonne shared that she had never had close, trustworthy friendships in her life; she had experiences that broke her trust and caused her to become guarded. Through her time with spiritual friends laughing, crying, studying the Bible, praying, and just having fun together, she began to experience a different type of friendship. After studying the Bible for a few months, she had to have surgery, and she was amazed at the outpouring of generous love and help from the women in her small group. This had a profound impact on Yvonne and her understanding of God’s love for her.
So many people befriended Yvonne on her journey to find God. She has learned to deeply trust people in relationships and openly share her life in ways that she never had before. We saw God transform Yvonne; as she drew closer to him, she let down her guard and allowed us to see the amazing, sensitive person that she is inside.
Yvonne was baptized Friday November 10!
Gratitude leads to generosity
…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and … he went around doing good and healing…because God was with him.
— Acts 10:38 NIV
Jesus did good wherever he went because God was with him. Because of our gratitude for how much God has done for us, we are inspired to follow Jesus’s example by doing good for others in any way we can.
This is what inspired the Doing Good Fundraiser! From now until 11/19, we are raising money to support programs that do good in our local and global community:
- The Hope Technology School gives a premier education to both typical kids and those with special needs. All students learn alongside one another, and with this inclusive mission at the center of everything they do, HTS has flourished since its inception in 2001. In the last nine years alone, the school has won 23 “Best of the Best in the Bay Area” awards, including Best Private High School, Best Private Middle School, Best Special Needs Services Organization, Best Preschool or Childcare Center, Best Private Elementary School, and more. Hope Technology School has become an inspiration to people around the world as institutions from Korea, Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Laos have sent delegations to visit the school to learn how to incorporate inclusion into their own programs.
- E-Life and its various inclusive sports and creative programs have made an incredible impact on hundreds of families in the Bay Area and around the world.
- The Doing Good Fund gives grants to grassroots programs started by members of the church, provides benevolence for people in the church who are going through short-term crises, and allows us to send catastrophic event relief to people around the world. Most recently, we sent funding to those affected by wildfires in Maui and the war in Ukraine.
For more information or to make a donation, head over to bacc.cc/doing-good!
It is amazing to see the fruit of what God does when we make choices to show generosity!
Until next time!
Sam and Tenea Manuel
East Bay Lead Minister and Women’s Ministry Leader