10 hints to make each shopping day a joy and 5 tips for staying cheerful.
Civil war. Bloodshed. Violence. Injustice. Ram Gidoomal has seen it all. Born in Kenya to parents forced to flee from the horrors of Partition; escaping from East Africa to start all over again in London with the bare minimum (£2,000) allowed to families leaving Kenya; he’s a double refugee who has carved out an impressive career as a businessman and entrepreneur. Now the Chairman of Stewardship and the Lausanne Movement, and a CBE into the bargain, Ram’s early experiences have informed his life of philanthropy and generosity.
My neighbour is looking a little bemused. I’m explaining that I can’t babysit on Saturday because I’ve promised to make cocktails for 150 people. “Oooh,” she says, “can I come?” “Absolutely,” I enthuse, “it’s at my church.”
To most people Stewardship is all about giving. After all, for most of our clients that’s how they know us. Our giving account is a large part of what we do and inspiring generosity is what makes us tick. At a quick glance it might seem that’s what we’re all about but look a bit further and you’ll see there’s more to us than meets the eye.
Your back’s a little stiff today? Probably due to the fact that last night you were out in the fields, scything down corn until the small hours. But you’ll be back out there again at first light tomorrow, won’t you? And by the time Sunday comes around you’ll be hand delivering a perfectly formed corn dolly and a couple of premium quality sheaves to your grateful vicar.
Suffolk-based Jane and Alan Hutt were leading a comfortable life with secure jobs. Life was settled: they attended a village church and had a strong Christian faith. Their three children were starting out on their own adult lives: one about to start teacher training; one ready to graduate and the youngest about to embark on his university career. The easiest thing in the world would have been to stay put. But in 2013, everything changed when they answered God’s call to move to Nakuru in Kenya and found the Beehive, a home for child mothers and their babies.
How can I spend less money, and still flourish in life? Now there’s a question that flies in the face of the cultural norms.
If I could earn less money, have more time and less stress, what difference would that make to my life and to the lives of those around me? It’s a path that can lead to having more time for the people we love and our wider community. Living on less is usually easier on the environment, too.
As if we weren’t already aware of it, the last few weeks have underlined the fact that nothing on Earth is certain. The ripple effects of the Brexit vote continue to play out but we have already seen a fairly dramatic effect on currency exchange rates. Since 24 June, the value of Sterling has dropped against many currencies creating as much as a 15% reduction in the exchange value of donations from supporters for some Christian Workers based abroad. The suddenness of the fall has created a problem for some who are finding their incomes being cut while bills and general living costs in their country of residence remain the same.
As I write this, the summer holiday season is coming to an end, and the resorts, camps and festivals are winding down for the winter. For some, holidaying involves passports and foreign currency, for others it’s camping equipment and windbreaks. Summertime, and particularly the school holidays, seems to exert a call to holiday as strong as the need for the swallows to migrate north in May.
blogs by the Stewardship team and selected guest writers.