The last post presented three case studies on actual requests for aid we received. This post is about how we responded to those requests. I am sharing the information in this way to point out a couple of things. First, it is not good stewardship or healthy missiology to give money in response to every request. The presence of a need does not automatically mean an obligation to respond. Second, case studies are a good way to teach and learn.
You will need to refer to the previous post for the case, I will only repeat here the question.
Case Study 1: Would you provide a scholarship for me to continue in school so that I can graduate and begin working?
Our Answer: No. After looking at the opportunities available to this young man, we felt it was a better plan for him to get his life in order at this time instead of continuing in school. Further, after we said no at this time, we became aware of other personal issues in his life which confirmed our decision.
Case Study 2: Would you provide me a scholarship so that I can buy the required supplies?
Our Answer: Yes. We would fund this scholarship only if it was agreeable to fun through one of our local partners who would keep records of how the monies were spent. After a call to our local partner, the transfer was made and scholarship provided.
Case Study 3: Will you provide the funds to replace what we, the local believers, have been giving in order to keep this young man in high school since we feel cannot continue to do this?
Our Answer: No. After several messages, we were able to make it clear that the resources which we bring into a community are not to be used in place of existing resources. We can often help leverage local assets through providing aid, but it is bad practice to replace with outside resources what could and should be done locally. A few excellent books on this topic include When Helping Hurts by Corbett and Fikkert, Walking with the Poor (Revised) by Myers, and Giving Wisely? Killing with Kindness or Empowering Lasting Transformation by Martin.
Though we responded positively to only one of the three requests, with the other regular commitments we have of providing Hunger funds, we spent more than what we have coming in monthly for hunger aid. Your financial gifts enable us, responsibly we feel, to respond to requests like these every month. Please consider giving generously to any of the following projects/offerings to help:
Texas Christian Life Commission World Hunger Offering
McNary Project #89754 - Roma Hunger & Health - You must enter McNary project 89754 in the Project Box before proceeding or else we will not receive your gift.
CBF Poverty & Transformation Ministries