5 kids, but always able to give to those in need

“We love serving and donating.”

You may think charitable giving is the last thing in the budget for a young family of seven.

But for the Posthuma family – members of Warnbro Community Church in southern Perth – it’s one of the first things they spend money on.

“We always felt in our hearts a call to serve and to help others in need,” says 37-year-old Johanna Posthuma who, along with her electrician husband Conrad (39), has five young boys – aged 10, 8, twin 6-year-olds and a two-year-old.

“But given the current situation with COVID, and the fact that we have quite a young family, we can’t really go anywhere to serve in full-time ministry work. And so we feel like financial support is the best way for us to give for now.”

For the past three years, the family has been supporting the work of Bible Society Australia (BSA) through monthly giving. This year they became “Lightkeepers”, along with other regular monthly donors, in BSA’s new Lighthouse program.

Johanna explains how they became BSA supporters in the first place: “In 2018, we bought some books from Koorong and they gave us the option to make a donation to Bible Society. So we thought, ‘OK, let’s do that.’ From there, we received some leaflets from BSA and the rest is history.”

Johanna says she feels a “personal connection” with BSA not only because of the organisation’s Christian ethos, but because of the “personal touches” their family has received from the organisation – like the gift of a baby Bible when their youngest son was born in 2019.

“I do feel a strong pull towards [Bible Society’s overseas] projects that support children in need or show love to people whose lives have been destroyed or who are in prison. But there’s also lots of projects in our own backyard, in Australia. [The projects] are all wonderful!” Johanna enthuses.

“You feel lifted up when you help others …” – Johanna Posthuma

Alongside their support for BSA, the Posthuma family also sponsor two children in Cambodia through Light of Hope. As their kids send drawings and cards to their sponsor children, Johanna hopes to teach them that “there are people in need”.

This lesson is also evident in the way Johanna and Conrad care for those in their local community. Johanna often makes meals for those in need, and she takes the kids along when delivering them.

But giving and serving are not the only ways to share the love of God, Johanna points out.

“It could be doing something as small as just being loving and a humble friend, or using your gifts with the driving force behind that to lift God’s name high,” she says.

“Or to have that overflowing joy, especially when life gets hard and things don’t always go our way. Then we have the opportunity to demonstrate [that joy], so people know that we have hope and we have God there helping us.

“A lot of people have noticed that we have hope in our eyes,” she adds.

When it comes to financial giving to organisations doing God’s work, Johanna says it is a privilege rather than a duty.

“I feel like God’s telling us to be generous like that, but it’s also for our own benefit. You feel lifted up when you help others, and you feel a connection with those you are helping. It’s wonderful.”

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