Encounters with generosity

Updated Nov 20, 2017
Written by Cindy Cook-Leamen; Edited by Leanna Cappiello

Some people just live to give. They are kind and generous, their spirit borne of a natural, intentional compassion. And then there are some who are generous without even realizing it. They give unceasingly, unaware of the effect of their love and kindness.

Both types of generosity are awe-inspiring, especially to Cindy Cook-Leamen a Child Sponsorship Ambassador. Here, she shares four intimate encounters of generosity with the people of northern Ghana during her visit in September 2017.

While in Ghana, we were recipients of and witnesses to many types of generosity. But the one that touched me the most was the one borne of innocence, which by its very nature reaches out to embrace hearts and minds.

A heart-winning smile

A little girl, Beatrice, with a grass-woven sunhat poses and flashes one beautiful smile after another for what seems an endless amount of time. She doesn’t even realize her impact on all her spectators, touched beyond words by her innocent generosity and joy.

Photo: World Vision

Hearts full of song

In a marketplace, children greet us enthusiastically with beaming smiles. We are struck by their joy and beauty. Our hearts sing under the hot African sun. 

A hand to hold

One young girl, in need of a sponsor, slips her hand into mine. “Madam, come,” she invites.  As we walk to an unknown destination, I realize that the arrival isn’t the point. The generosity is in the invitation to walk alongside her, as a stranger whom she trusts. This is the point. This is the precious gift.

Gratitude with grace

A young woman on crutches, Ayisha, who lost a leg to a motor accident, wants to be heard. Confidently, she shares a message of gratitude as her audience watches and listens, spellbound by her strength and the generous nature of her words. I pause: How do girls and boys speak in front of visitors from a faraway land they can only imagine?  How do they feel comfortable sharing their personal dreams? How do we receive such generosity?        

Photo: World Vision

With each encounter, the inner stirrings of devotion, dedication and determination grow stronger.  We wear our title of “Ambassadors” with pride. But these innocent, humble and generous young people of northern Ghana are the true Ambassadors. 
They are Ambassadors of hope. 
They represent a model for all to aspire to.
Their example pushes us forever forward.