The First to Give - Jeri Roller's Story of a Lifetime of Giving

When did I start giving? My mother would take my sister and me to church when I was a very small child. We always gave not only our tithe but to missions or Sunday School. I don’t remember learning to give, so I think my mother must have taught me from birth. When my dear husband and I were married, instead of a honeymoon, we went to camp-meeting. That’s where we started giving together.

Growing up post-depression, we had to work hard to earn every dollar. One of my most interesting jobs was driving a diaper service truck. I would drive my diaper route twice a week, dropping off the clean diapers and picking up the dirty ones. It may not seem like a hard job, but I’m pretty scrawny!

Gilbert and Jeri Roller (on right)  first trip to Africa in 1991. 

Gilbert and Jeri Roller (on right)  first trip to Africa in 1991. 

My favorite place to give is to my church. I always give there first. The rest is just for joy! I like giving. Why do I give? It is like eating or sleeping or going to church. That’s just what I do. I never think about it or make a big deal about it. I always carry a dollar or two in my church coat pocket. If the offering plate comes by, I’m happy to have something to give. I never miss that dollar.

When my kids, Leonard and Karen Roller, started Circle of Hope, Gilbert and I were glad to give. We wanted to support and encourage them in the work Jesus called them to do. I can’t do much else, especially now, but I can pray a little and give a little. That’s my piece of the puzzle!

What is the piece in your hands? 


“My father and mother in-law, Gilbert and Jeri Roller gave the first donation that started Circle of Hope International in October 2006. When Dad went home to be with Jesus this summer, I was not able to make it back to the US for his funeral. Instead, we had a memorial service for Dad in Malawi. Among the people who attended was a high level chief, who in the past had caused much trouble at the Grace Center. He was deeply entrenched in Malawi’s traditional religion. Since Dad’s memorial service, this chief has been coming to church and learning about Jesus. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving to the Lord! We never really know how far our gifts will go.” – Karen Roller  

Posted on November 13, 2014 and filed under Give.