The Joy of Giving

How often have you given money to some cause or organisation and wondered if the funds will ever make it to the project or person it was intended? I am generally fairly trusting, and assume it goes where it’s supposed to… though on one recent occasion, we chose to use some of our credit card points to donate funds to the Fred Hollows Foundation – we never even saw any sort of receipt or even acknowledgement that the money went there… in this case I was a little skeptical I must admit! It kinda robs you of any satisfaction in giving, wondering if the funds met their purpose… but the opposite is also true when you see the outcome of your generosity…

Recently I got an email from my mate, Dan, who some time ago collected some funds in our small group for a project in Cambodia. I had forgotten about it completely, making receiving the email below even more encouraging to see the impact that our small notion of generosity made…

// DAN:

Hi Guys!

Hope you’re all doing well. Remember when we collected money for the Mother and her daughter in Cambodia last year, so that they could buy some land and have somewhere to live and make a living? Well, I didn’t just pocket the cash… that money went to Cambodia and has transformed the prospects of this family, so thanks guys! Emma was very excited to send us the following info and photos:

// EMMA (working for World Hope International in Cambodia at the time):

Altogether your money has been able to buy land and then also buy some chickens, a big water jar for outside a house to catch rain water, a bicycle and some other things for the house. The money may also go to paying the builder for the building of the house (which was $75 or 300,000Riel).

Good news is that Samol (our Social Worker), Malin (the Field Operations Manager for World Hope Siem Reap) and I are all heading next Thursday (May 16) out to Battambang Province, to a town called Som Lout to see the mother and her girl whom I wrote to you about last year. Please pray for this – and for the family and the process – as things are never as straight forward as they may seem.

This has taken a L O N G time, as I thought it could. But the original land didn’t happen. I think the Village Leader pulled out of the negotiation in the end, due to a family member wanting the land… and the land certificate couldn’t be secured at that time our team were there… complicated! But these things happen and change and meld and are thickly layered!

All in all, the land price went up by $100 to $600 and we thankfully got this extra money from Dan and his small group.

Last Thursday we were able to make sure all the documents for the land purchase, were written up and signed by the relevant people. That means that the land and the house are now in this mother’s name and she will receive those documents in the next week. Great news!

The mother and daughter moved into their house about 13 days ago and love the space and the independence from the pagoda. They are still needing to put down concrete on the floor of the home and that will happen in the next few weeks (we hope).

The land is 5m x 50m. We also were able to purchase a bike, about 9 chickens (for a business), a battery for light and recharging things like phones. Due to the Assessment Centre in Siem Reap closing in the next month, we were also able to give the family many more things to cook with, bowls, plates, sleeping mats, toys, mats. So it was handy timing for this family in some ways!

Thanks for your help and your generosity to make this happen.

God Bless you guys,


// DAN:

So that’s really encouraging and exciting – it’s great to know that we can make such a massive and real difference with the kind of money that we’d consider spending on a spare TV for the bedroom, or something! I’ve asked Emma to keep me posted if any more opportunities such as this come up again.

See you all soon,


I believe there is mutual joy for both the receiver and giver when someone is generous (check out this post about the motivation for giving). Emma, Dan and our small group all shared in this joy, as we were part of the process in making a big difference in someone’s life. It didn’t take much either, as Dan says… we probably wouldn’t blink at spending this money on something new for ourselves… but there is so much more joy, everlasting joy, in being generous and giving it for a higher purpose than your own needs.

Thanks to Emma for her awesome work in Cambodia, and Dan for taking the initiative to get the funds together – what an awesome outcome!


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