We refuse to believe we can be more generous than God.
Maggie wrote the other day about generosity and the stance of faith that Father Wasson, the founder of NPH, consistently took. As Stefan, the national director of NPH Honduras put it: "We refuse to believe we can be more generous than God."
This faith plays itself out in many stunning ways. For example, the practice of NPH is to never set a cut-off for the number of kids the home will take. Of course they screen for suitability, for the sense of whether they will be able to serve this particular child or family or grandparent in a suitable way, but they never ask if there is enough money or enough housing or enough room. Ross, the assistant director, illustrated this point with another Father Wasson phrase in a different meeting: "There is always room for one more."
NPH has been hit by the same financial struggles that most charity organizations have suffered in the financial downturn of the Great Recession. Other factors having to do with local Honduran politics have also played a role in making finances tighter for the 9 homes of NPH International spread throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. The night that we met with Stefan, he had been busy with budget meetings that resulted in the decision to let go of three more employees. This task, which he has to do the next day, was on his mind as he met with us.
The details of these arrangements are more complex than I can cover in this post. But, simply, NPH Honduras is a generous employer compared to most in Honduras. And this doesn't even really get at it. Stefan was facing having to let go of a family. The kids are getting much less meat than they have in the past. But the fact remains the 500 or so kids on the 2000 acre compound and spread through various locales based on their age and schooling needs, are among the more privileged in Honduras. They are safe. They are treated well. They get three square meals a day. There is remarkable generosity here.
Which brings me to the picture below and your generosity. The picture below was one that made many of us in the room a few nights ago very happy. Because of the generosity of so many of you and of so many friends beyond the congregation who responded to our appeal, we were able to provide support for all who needed it on the trip and still present this very big check for $1000 to NPH. Even better, we are giving this gift at a time that a generous donor has promised to match gifts, so our gift will be doubled.
It's still true that $2000 is a drop in the bucket. But Donna, our guide and host and fixer of all things, said that while true, most other donations have been small gifts. This is significant and deeply appreciated. So we want to pass on our appreciation to you, because we are learning to love this place and these people. They are becoming our friends, really our brothers and sisters, our hermonos y hermanas, all children of a God who is more generous than we can imagine.