Few things in life are as fun as scheming to be generous. I have to admit, most days I find myself introspective – thinking about MY life, MY ambitions, MY story, etc… It’s easy to do when we live in therapeutic, self-improvement culture. There is nothing wrong with self-improvement. But there is a deeper joy found in improving someone else’s life, ambition, & story.
This very week is a continuation of one of those stories. Here is some context…
In 2011, a group of us went to Brazil to hold a Resound Conference in Rio De Janeiro. While there, one of the first people we met was a guy named Thiago. Thiago leads worship at his Church, has a heart of gold, and is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. One evening he showed us some songs he had written and recorded on his cell phone. We casually asked when he was going to record them. He responded “It is my dream, but this will never happen. I do not have the money to allow this to happen.”
After the trip, it didn’t take long for us to figure out what we needed to do. We knew in our gut that we were now responsible to make sure Thiago’s dream became a reality. So, at the Colorado Resound Conference in November of 2011, we put out the invitation to our friends and community and we were able to raise a good chunk of change. Enough to fly Thiago and his wife to our friends studio in Costa Rica to record a nice demo.
Now comes the fun part. We just needed to tell him….
We returned to Brazil this last summer (2012) and we waited in anticipation for the moment to deliver this good news to Thiago, face to face. On one of the evenings, we sat him down after dinner and told him that we want to share some words of encouragement with him. There were around 50 people present and he clearly didn’t understand what we were doing. After telling him what he meant to us, we then broke the news about what we wanted to do for him.
We explained to him that we not only wanted to recognize his talent, but also honor is character and passion for God. We told him that we felt the Father was saying, “I care about your dreams more than you do because I’m the one who gave them to you.”
Immediately after hearing this, Thiago’s eyes welled up with tears. After letting the moment breathe for a few minutes, he then shared his heart. In short, he explained that in the last couple months he had given up on this dream. His sister was sick and he was responsible to take care of her. He was convinced that his time had passed and his dream was gone. The pastor of the church had even given him permission to quit his job so that he could go make more money somewhere else. But Thiago refused, knowing that God had called him to serve the church.
Coming full circle, this week Thiago and his wife are in Costa Rica recording the demo. This dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.
I wasn’t able to fly down there, but I know that Jason, Aaron, David, Danny, and the crew will create a great recording for him. I’ll be sure to share the recording with you when it is released.
This story has become one of the richest experiences of my life. There is so much joy to be found in co-laboring with Jesus to give generously and restore a dream that had been buried in the rubble of life. Since that night in Rio, I’ve been reminded that these are stories I want to give myself to. I want to spending time scheming to be generous rather than scheming to get rich. I’m convinced this is a better way to live.
What if we all took one risk even today to scheme up ways to be bless someone in an unexpected way? Generosity doesn’t have to involve thousands of dollars and the promise of a recording project. This could be sharing a word of encouragement, giving a simple gift, or meeting a need.
Below is the video of when we told Thiago what we were doing…