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Posts Tagged ‘Giving’

Hope for Orphans has been given a wonderful opportunity which we want to let you know about.  Some very generous ministry partners of FamilyLife have offered to match every dollar given in support of FamilyLife in May, up to $334,500. Hope for Orphans has been invited to participate in that match.

Whether you are a current supporter, or one who has not yet supported Hope for Orphans financially, would you prayerfully consider making a donation during the month of May?  In keeping with Proverbs 31:8, in which God tells us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”, we have established what we are calling the “31 Dollars in 31 Days May Match.”  If you are able to help us with a gift of just a dollar a day for the month, that 31 dollar gift will be matched and we will be better able to serve you by speaking up for those children who have no voice.

To take part in the 31 Dollars in 31 Days May Match, please go to http://tiny.cc/HFOmatch.  And please, pass this on to your friends!

Thank you so much for your investment in God’s Kingdom work.

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This is the second in a three part blog series addressing the crisis in Haiti.

 

In the past week I have received scores of emails from organizations asking me to give money to their Haiti relief efforts.  Many websites are now carrying advertisements for all types of non-profit organizations that are serving those devastated by the earthquake.  When a crisis strikes and people are moved to help there are always going to be huge financial needs, as is the case in Haiti.

So that our giving is not done in a haphazard manner it’s helpful to have a framework or a lens through which we view these requests – a “why?”, a “ how?” and a “who?”.

 

Why:

Motives matter.  It’s important that we remember why we ought to be giving financially to serve those who are hurting.  We need to be honest with the reality that as long as we are alive we will wrestle with our motives.

In 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 the apostle Paul reminds his readers that the reason they have excess is so that they can share with others in need.  We have been blessed financially so that we can be a blessing to others.  We have been given much so that we can give much.  And don’t miss this – all this flows out of the gospel.  We see in Christ the one who “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9, NASB).  We find that Christ, though he “existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8, NASB).  Make no mistake about it – our giving should start from what we’ve been given through the birth, life, death & resurrection of Christ.  We love because He first loved us.

This means that our motivation for giving should not lie in our tax deduction. It should not spring from a desire to have our name on a building.  It should not emanate from the thought that God will find greater pleasure in me, for if you are in Christ then you are already clothed in righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and co-heirs with the Son (Romans 8:16ff).

How:
With requests coming at you almost daily how do you determine who you should give to?  What criteria should be used to sift through the many ministries, organizations and NGOs?  Randy Alcorn, the President of Eternal Perspective Ministries said it succinctly: “Our mailboxes are filled with urgent requests from innumerable ministries. The needs may be real, and needs are important, but they are also endless. So needs alone are not sufficient reason. For the glory of God, we must say ‘no’ to many need-meeting opportunities, even most of them, the vast majority of them, in order that we may say a strong ‘yes’ to those that God has uniquely called us to support.”

Might I suggest two criteria to start with  – there are certainly others you could & should use, but I think these two are good ones to get you started:

1)      Gospel-centric:  We believe that the God created man with a body (that is temporary) and a soul (which lives on for eternity).  Since they are both God’s handiwork both are important, but the state of a person’s soul is insurmountably more important. There is an African proverb that says, “An empty stomach has no ears” – which is another way of saying we cannot ignore people’s physical needs for the sake of simply passing along the gospel. And so when we look to give to an organization that is going to help provide for people’s physical needs we ought to look for one that has the long term (e.g. eternal) perspective in mind.

2)      Accountable: We believe that you should only funnel your resources to organizations and ministries that are accountable.  Membership to an organization like the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountablity (ECFA) is a great way to filter through some of the ministries you may be looking to support.  The key is that the organization be above reproach in the way they handle their resources, their financial reporting & disclosure, their donor development and other key aspects of their ministry.

I would also encourage you to check out Randy Alcorn’s writing. He has been producing really solid content on this whole idea of stewardship.  I’ve found his writings very solid from a biblical perspective & very challenging from a personal perspective.  You would do well to spend some time on his website.   One post that is particularly relevant to the topic I’m addressing now is: Nineteen Questions to Ask Before You Give to Any Organization

Who:
We’ve talked about the why & the how – what about the who?  Let me suggest a four organizations (all members of ECFA) that I believe are worthy of your resources:

  • Global Aid Network (GAiN) – Providing humanitarian relief on the ground. GAiN had prepositioned a container in Haiti before the earthquake & had supplies already in the country.
  • Children’s Hunger Fund – CHF was in the right place, with aid products, training, and strategies, at the right time, just days before the earthquake struck. They have responded immediately and have begun to launch long-term poverty relief strategies.
  • Hope International – A leader in the Christian micro-finance space.  You can give to their Haiti Re-Development Fund that will be put to use to help the people of Haiti rebuild their lives.
  • World Orphans – Partnering with the local Haitian church to care for orphans. 

For other recommended organizations you can click HERE for Desiring God/John Piper’s list or HERE for Together for Adoption/Dan Cruver’s list.

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