True Generosity is Giving Your Best Chicken

President Tim Spaulding with a most generous gift.
President Tim Spaulding with a most generous gift.

What is the single most generous gift you’ve ever received? We can probably all think of exciting Christmas or birthday gifts, or thoughtful presents wrapped up beautifully from friends and family. But for Freedom 4/24 President Tim Spaulding, the gift he will always remember came in the form of a real, live chicken. Here, he explains the purpose and impact of this simple gift.

On Saturday, before the Run 4 Their Lives Uganda 5K, our team had the opportunity to visit with a recent graduate from Christine’s House named Filda. Living deep in the bush, reaching Filda’s village was no easy task. Following a bumpy, hour-long drive on dirt roads and narrow trails, we went the final stretch on foot. After a 10-minute walk on footpaths surrounded by elephant grass towering over six feet tall, we reached a clearing. There we found a few chickens scratching the neatly swept dirt, a couple of goats, and a scrawny dog that clearly did not appreciate our arrival.

A few moments later, Filda emerged from a low-slung hut with a child on her hip. She greeted each member of our team by extending her wrist to shake (customarily done when one’s hands are dirty) while gently bowing in respect.  Then an older woman, slightly hunched over with chiseled features from decades of toiling to survive, followed out of the home. She was introduced to us as Filda’s mother and she beckoned the team to come inside.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness inside the hut, I took in the family's few earthly possessions: some scraps of clothing, a couple of pots for cooking, and two mats, which we were invited to sit on while Filda shared her story with us. (To read more about one team member’s experience of hearing Filda’s story, click here).

While our team was praying for Filda, her mother exited the hut. When we emerged behind her some time later, Filda’s mother approached our translator, Sam Lutalo, with her hands full.

“She has a gift for you,” Sam explained.

“Sam,” I said. “They have nothing. How can we accept it?”

“You must,” he said. “It would be an insult to do otherwise.”

As I approached Filda’s mother, she placed a chicken and a bag of groundnuts (similar to peanuts) into my hands. My eyes welled with tears.

There I was, an American who by her standards is wealthy beyond her wildest imagination, receiving a gift from a woman who supports her family without a husband on less than one dollar a day. As we walked back to our bus, Sam told me he had seen her search for her best chicken and sort her groundnuts for the finest ones before presenting them as gifts to the team as a thank you for all that was done for her daughter at Christine’s House.

This reminds me of a story in the Bible when Jesus comments on a woman’s small offering in the temple saying it was greater than the vast sums the wealthy had offered because she gave out of her poverty, giving all she had.She had nothing yet she wanted to show how much it meant to her that her daughter’s brokenness had been restored at Christine’s House.

Her gifts were really meant for you—the thousands of individuals and families who give to Freedom 4/24. I was merely the recipient.

You are making a difference.

You are changing lives.

Filda’s mother gave all she had. What will you give today to continue changing lives like her daughter’s?  To donate, click here. Thank you for being a hero to these girls, and their mothers.