Someone was knocking outside the church residency. When I opened the door, I was surprised to see a farmer carrying a big bag of crops, asking me to keep it for the church. He was not a rich man, I could tell. But he was generous, and that was his way of giving thanks to the Lord.
In Egypt, Christians often celebrate “Thanksgiving” in this way. Some village churches would collect crops and sell them for cash to support different ministries. This tradition started when the Egyptian Presbyterian Church sought financial independence from Western missionaries. Later, it became an annual tradition for expressing gratitude to God.
Today, Christians in Egypt celebrate Thanksgiving by providing financial support to poor churches for construction projects and other needs. We collect a special offering for distribution among churches or ministries in need.
Thanksgiving is more than a holiday. It is closely related to the virtue of generosity. When we show generosity, we express our gratitude to God. Our thankfulness is demonstrated visibly when we are generous with others.
However, we should not confuse generosity with material wealth. Giving is a heart attitude before it is giving money. Of course, we thank the Lord very much for the rich who support important ministry projects. But we should not associate generosity with money.
Many underprivileged people thank the Lord by giving their most treasured possessions. I saw with my own eyes a devout lady putting her only golden ring into the offering plate to support her church’s building project. It was all she owned of material value.
At Scholar Leaders, God’s people of all means participate in our mission to serve the Global Church. We cherish your generosity and support.
Please join us in thanksgiving and prayer as we reflect on how God has used your generosity this year to:
- Offer scholarships to 55 PhD students, including 9 new scholars, from 25 nations through Leader Studies. Please pray for these doctoral students as they attend seminars, sit for comprehensive exams, formulate proposals, conduct research, and write and defend dissertations – often while leading churches and nonprofits, teaching courses, guiding denominations, caring for their families, and serving their communities.
- Collaborate with 43 leading Majority World seminaries in 24 countries through the Vital Sustainability Initiative. Pray for school leaders as they finalize and implement strategic plans for sustainability and lasting impact.
- Form the Network of Centers for Christian-Muslim Relations (NCCMR), through Catalytic Venture – Islam, to connect centers from 14 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Pray for the upcoming launch in early 2024.
- Work closely with Ukrainian Christian leaders, through Catalytic Venture – Church & Society, to develop theological responses amid ongoing atrocities. Pray for our partners in Ukraine as they reconstruct theological education and guide the Ukrainian Church in the context of war.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we pray you will experience God’s generosity afresh. May our hearts be ever grateful to the Lord!
Christian-Muslim Engagement Director,
for the Scholar Leaders Team