Let me tell you a story during my mission in Mindanao. While I was preparing for the orientation of our Youth Camp, there’s this group of young people who arrived in the venue carrying their bags, beddings, and other stuff. The moment I saw them, I asked them to put their things in their assigned quarters. I told them that the program will start in a few minutes. What caught my attention was when these three sisters are carrying a sack, and I can surely attest that sack was so heavy. I asked them what’s inside the sack and why did they not call me or any of the brothers to help them. Someone answered, “Nahiya po kami, pero kaya naman po” so I asked them again what’s inside the sack. They smiled at me and said, “Saging po na saba, wala po kasi kaming pangbayad ng registration sa youth camp kaya po pinadala po ng Tatay ko yung tanim namin sa bahay.” When I heard it, I was a bit teary-eyed because I felt their genuine desire to be part of the camp. They don’t have much in life, but their desire to give is so abundant and authentic just to experience Jesus on that weekend.
That experience was very memorable for me because as a missionary, I need to be selfless at all times – most especially when I am being sent on missions. Until now when it comes to giving, regardless whether it is your time, your talent, or treasure what matters most to God is the genuine desire to give. And that genuine desire is parallel to the amount of love you are putting unto it just to experience Jesus in your life.
I remember a quote from a priest during his recollection “Pwede kang magbigay ng hindi ka nagmamahal ngunit hindi ka pwedeng magmahal ng hindi ka nagbibigay.” I realized that maybe that is the main reason why I was not happy even if I was giving my monthly tithes – I was giving but not loving. I was giving, but I did not deeply understand why I should do it. I realized that giving our monthly tithe/GIG in the community is a great opportunity to bless many people around the world who are in need because missionaries can visit them as many times as possible. We can share Christ rapidly and massively if we are giving our tithe/GIG regularly. Now, I fully understand that giving teaches me to live simply, giving teaches me to be more generous, giving provides God an opportunity to work in my life – most especially when I have nothing to offer because I consistently give what is due to Him.
Never hesitate to give and never hesitate to love so that God will continuously bless each one of us abundantly.
Jayjay Tropicales is a Full-Time Pastoral Worker for MFC Youth serving as the Luzon Missions coordinator.