Written by Will Munton
on 29th November 2022
This Giving Tuesday, we reflect on what giving means in other cultures. Our Director of Partnerships and Development has been in India for the last three months, living in a community in Orissa, India. Their family are supporting the charity Love the One, so Will has been working remotely. We asked him some questions about around giving in such a diverse place as India.
What does giving mean to people in Orissa?
- Giving is huge here, everything is shared. There is a real feel of unity, comradery, and a sense that we are all in it together so naturally giving, sharing all aspects of life is just part of the community, this is a really lovely part of living in a collective culture.
What kind of examples could you elaborate on?
- When we head to a friends house for dinner (people are super hospitable here, another wonderful way of giving) it is expected to take some fruit, or maybe some sweets with you. In everyday life giving is everything. We were on a road trip to a rural village last week, and people brought along pancakes, baked goods, sweets, nuts and other food items. The car was a continuous giving session with everyone sharing and commenting on various foods! Food is such a good example of giving, as it promotes conversations about culture, geography, and language.
What about in family life?
- I’ve heard of many stories of brothers and sisters giving generously to each other. Some really inspiring stories especially about education. Family members, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles all clubbing together to pay for education of a member of the family; how supported you would feel! It is often out of necessity though, sadly many families have barriers to education so they see this as a wider family necessity to provide, and sadly many simply cannot afford to do so. The majority of the families we work with at Love the One live on a day to day basis, they work and get paid for that day; which is enough for food and basics for that day only.
Giving with cheer is what 2 Corinthians 9:7 suggests, and we see great examples on a daily basis of cheerful giving, amongst people with very little. This has really inspired and challenged me personally. I’ve also witnessed churches growing in their ministry, their social action, and appetite to learn and get qualified in ministry.
Whilst over 66% of the church lives in the ‘Global South’, this community only has access to 17% of the church’s resources (Deressa, 2020). Werner’s (2011) work helps to show that:
“The absolute majority of resources for theological education – both teaching staff, scholarship funds, theological libraries and publications – are still located in the North, whereas the majority needs and demands for theological education, in a situation marked by a remarkable shift of the centre of gravity of world Christianity, are in the Southern hemisphere”
In May of this year CYM launched its new scholarship programme. We now have churches that are sponsoring student fees and providing salary for students whilst they study with us for three years. Through the marketing of this work, we had an unexpected response from those who are from the Global South. We have prospective students and church leaders from the Global South that are keen to engage with our training through a scholarship programme.
By giving financially to CYM this Giving Tuesday, together we can serve future students in the Global South, as we are raising funds to:
- Take our courses and training courses online via a new online platform
- Make them available in south-east Asia and Africa; serving other nations with theological resources
- Sponsor students with current barriers to learning and education, with high quality training and courses
Together, we can serve other nations with resources, help those in ministry become qualified, and play our part in Gods mission to see the gospel shared in every nation.
We are meant to be curious, inquisitive. It is how God made us – wanting to understand, to know - God, His works, His world, His purposes, His creation, His presence, His love, His eternal dance, His Church, His people, His kingdom more fully. We are all researchers.
Dr. Graham Bright - Senior Lecturer
25th January 2023
When I was a lad growing up in Glasgow, I was mentored in to youth ministry leadership through summer camps and volunteers in my local church. Faithful amateurs took me hill walking and canoeing, sat with my painful attempts to play in the church band and gave me mini-experiences of speaking up front, visiting the sick and planning bigger events.
Robin Smith - Course Director
21st December 2022
The word theology derives from two Greek words, theos, which means God, and logos, which means word or words. Put simply, therefore, theology means words about God and that makes every person a theologian because everyone has words to describe God. Even the person who says there is no God has a theology, they are using words to describe him.
Dave Horsfall - Associate Tutor
30th November 2022