The three hundred middle and high school students of the small town of Neodesha, Kansas filed into a surprise school assembly. They then sat in disbelief upon hearing that a married couple with ties to their town committed to pay college tuition for every Neodesha student for the next twenty-five years. The students were stunned, overjoyed, and tearful.
Neodesha had been hard hit economically, which meant many families worried about how to cover college expenses. The gift was a generational game-changer, and the donors hope it will immediately impact current families but also incentivize other families to move to Neodesha. They envision their generosity igniting new jobs, new vitality—an entirely different future for the town and its neighbors.
God desired His people to be generous by not only tending to their own acute needs but also by envisioning a new future for their overwhelmed, struggling neighbors. God’s directions were clear: “If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them” (Leviticus 25:35). The generosity wasn’t only about meeting basic physical needs of food and shelter but also about considering what their future life together as a community would require. “Help them,” God said, “so they can continue to live among you” (v. 35).
The deepest forms of giving reimagine a different future. God’s immense, creative generosity encourages us toward that day when we all live together in wholeness and plenty.