Altruism runs deep in the Taberer family.
In the 1850s, Canon Charles Taberer left England for Africa to establish a church and help the local people of present-day South Africa.
Charles' humble beginnings continue to motivate his great-great-great-grandchildren to help others today. The Taberers believe that financial blessings are not theirs to keep but theirs to share.
After moving to present-day Zimbabwe, one of Canon Charles Taberer’s great-grandchildren, Anthony, started farming and went on to build a successful business, all with diligence, hard work and wisdom, alongside faithful people. Anthony became a devout Christian later in his life and was a very committed member of his church and to a number of Christian works, always giving generously.
Anthony raised all his children to love Jesus, one of them being Louise, who always strove to do her best to live "as a good person". Louise went to church and attended youth group with her peers, however after years of trying, she realised that "one can be a good person but not be saved or walking with the Lord." It was due to this epiphany that Louise gave her life to the Lord.
A committed Christ-follower
Louise, who worked with rural communal farmers and had witnessed their hardship and struggles, became passionate to see change occur and worked to help the communities. At one time, Louise helped more than 15,000 families with inputs for cotton and even went back to buy the cotton.
One Jesus follower Louise looked up to challenged her to go the extra mile. The young lady took Louise to a medical mission station that changed Louise's life forever. Here, people live on the edge from one harvest to another, and starvation is a fact of life. "Seeing a missionary living among the people and working to help them challenged me that I could do more to help," Louise explained.
Louise later learnt that she was not at this mission station to be an observer but to work. Although quite at home with spending time and working among people from a different culture, Louise found the tasks more humbling than wearing. "I saw people and children with burns, from falling into open fires, from pots of boiling water, splits from these open pits and all sorts of injuries. But it was such a joy to serve them and realising I was doing something to help."
Louise made it her own mission not only to give towards the work at the medical mission but to visit and help the local missions worker. Incidentally, the lady who took Louise to the medical mission station left to share Christ’s love with those in Central Asia.
Sensing a need, Louise teamed up with others from her church to mobilise resources and plan visits to go and help the resident missions worker.
The work has expanded from just being a medical mission to include farming and feeding local children who face starvation due to drought and ineffective methods of farming, and Louise loves being a part of it.
"I am passionate about farming. I grow cotton, and I have my own herd of cattle, so I sat in the community and spoke about what I am doing and how I am doing and suddenly swells of people came to listen. I didn't know I was doing ministry," she laughed.
A generous heart
Louise gives generously to these causes and many others. Her family has a fund that was left behind by her father to help those in need. The family cites the Church as a top priority for their giving in addition to various charities—including OM in Zimbabwe—individual missions workers, feeding programmes for vulnerable children, sustainable farming programmes and health initiatives, among others.
Louise not only gives financially but also donates her experience, time and skills to help others.
"I have a Bible study group of young girls and I am always teaching that not just the Word but [that] we must take action,” she said. “So I am always looking for where I can use my gifts to help serve."
Louise believes God has blessed her with administration skills so she could be a good steward of resources to grow the Kingdom of God. “I come from a privileged background, but I have learnt that we can only find real contentment and joy in the things of God.”
Louise's greatest desire is to see the Kingdom of God expand, and she is determined to play her role through giving financially and using her talents to do whatever she can to contribute.