Musings on …..Giving Part 1

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On the tail of this post which saddens my heart tremendously and this post I wrote Get Off Your Butt!

I have story to tell you…..

I send bibles out to foreign countries, via this ministry.

I have established ‘relationships’ with 2 pastors.

One is in India and I send him English bibles.

The other is in Malawi and I was sending English bibles, but he has written numerous times and requested Chewa bibles.

He has also requested other things.

Bibles, phone, clothes, money.

Robbers killed his watchman and ransacked his house, took 70 bags of maize, stole his car [which was found later in a nearby village with no tires or engine],

And he cares for orphan children and his wife died in childbirth.

About 1 month ago, I sent 100 dollars for a case of bibles and 100 dollars to help with rebuilding his house, I wrote him and told him this was a gift and I didn’t usually have this much money to send.

{I had received some money for Christmas}

The car will cost 2150.00 to replace tires and engine; he also needs clothes and shoes for his children. He has also requested a Nokia phone.

Now I am not ranking on his guy, he sounds as if his heart is good and he is legit, he has had some serious ‘bad luck’ in the short time I have been corresponding with him.

My dilemma:

When I started this little ministry, it was to send bibles to people overseas who desired the Word of God.

The shipping rates were pretty good, about 1.05 per pound to most foreign countries.

As of May 14th, the shipping rates skyrocketed to about 200 dollars plus for a 30 pound box!

This pastor in Malawi needs more that I am able to give….

What should I do? Do I venture out and give more than bibles?

Where do I draw the line in supporting this man and others?

Is supporting Compassion better? Am I really feeding a child with 32$ a month?

There has got to be a person with a Nokia phone hanging around to give away, doesn’t there?

I read somewhere here in the Northwest, there is a company who ships crates of clothes to people.

Does anyone know of this place?

I can’t even afford to send bibles anymore, so I am to write a sad letter to 2 pastors, which I have been procrastinating doing…..*sigh*

I’m still grabbing bibles off the thrift store shelves, most of the time I can’t even carry them out of the store, there are so many of them.

I give them to the Tacoma Rescue Mission Jail Ministry.

I also have 1000 bible tracts sitting under my coffee table. From here.

I can’t afford to ship them, so I will put them on freecycle or Craig’s list.

My mind gets going on that 200 mph train and I can’t stop thinking about it, what to do, what to do…..

A week ago when my son got home we talked about sponsoring a child thru Compassion

He picked out this little guy profile.

But, wow, are we doing enough? I know of a few families [personally] who don’t have enough food for their family, should I sponsor them?

What does the Lord say about giving?

Find out more on Part 2……

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6 responses »

  1. These are tough questions.

    When I was pastoring, a church from Florida came every year to our area (extreme poverty appalachia) and brought 30-40 people for work projects.

    After the third or so year they invited my redhead and me to come down and talk about our ministry to the poor.

    While touring their fairly large city before we spoke I noticed a number of poverty stricken areas within a few miles of the church. I asked my tour guides what the church was doing for the poor locally. “Well, we really don’t do anything as a church.”

    Sometimes it’s easier for us to give to deepest, darkest Africa than to our neighbor who is the deepest, darkest African we know.

    Then it’s also hard to live in such an affluent society and know when enough giving and sacrifice is enough.

    Case in point: I am selling the complete rights to many of the books I have written over the last several years. Following the Dave Ramsey model, I should make sure part of that money goes into a retirement fund.

    But is now the day to be saving for a future I may never see when I see poverty around me every day now? Should I take that many thousands of dollars and send a guy to welding school or should I put it away in a Roth IRA so I can have a comfortable retirement?

    I understand the principle of an emergency fund–we all know the car is going to break down soon enough and it makes sense to save for those types of things–but how far ahead should we be committing our money? Once my bills are paid, how much savings is enough?

    It’s tough to know and I suspect we must all seek God individually for the answer for our own lives.

  2. I helped my church plant churches in China and we had a rule of ‘no cash’ where anything the church needed we would buy and send someone to deliver. Later on over time we built a relationship with our local ppl and then slowly we gave cash for certain needs which we were sure about after we knew the needs were genuine and for the churches which we planted in the first place.

    I’ve seen ‘professional christians’ out there in the field who do nothing but act holy when others come and prey on their compassion for money and actually make a living by entertaining like 50 different groups.

    If this pastor really needs help you shd refer him to group who has regular presence there who can assess his needs and help him accordingly.

    My 2 cents 🙂

  3. “I send bibles out to foreign countries, via this ministry.”

    Bibles Unbound is also an awesome program that does the same thing. It is a great opportunity to get the family together, pray over the bibles, stuff them in envelopes, and send them on their way toward their recipients- remembering to pray for those recipients for the next few months. I love the whole experience.

  4. Although there seems to be virtue in meeting the needs of everyone, what is more important is to simply be who the Lord has made us to be, and to move according to His Spirit.

    It can be a very “soulish” thing to scurry about (even if it’s only in our minds), trying to solve all of the worlds problems.

    The Lord certainly has a purpose for each of us, and as we turn from ourselves to Him, He will make that purpose crystal clear.

    Rest in the Lord, and He will show you the Way.

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