Giving Principles

I give because it's good for me, but also because I have resources that can be used by others more effectively, in an eternal sense, than they could if they were used on myself.  I remember reading somewhere that, as a Christian, we should be sure to diversify our giving such that it encompasses the following categories: straight evangelism, relief, development, and advocacy. 

I agree with that sentiment, and am guided by two other principles, both of which I believe are Biblical and economical:

1) Support work done by people in their home culture - Contrary to what you might think, there is very little inter-lingual missionary work in the Bible.  That does not negate those who do cross cultures and languages for the sake of the gospel, of course, but it also means that such types of missionaries aren't the only ones out there worth supporting.  People working in their home culture need no language or cultural adaptation, require no furlough, and (for non-US missionaries) generally cost less to support.

2) Teaching a man how to fish is better than giving him a fish - It may take longer and sound less sexy in a newsletter, but in the long run, it has a more profound impact on the recipient and a more sustainable impact for the Kingdom.

Accordingly, I would like to encourage you to give with me to the following organizations.  Although I don't agree with everything they do, I agree with enough to support them with my prayers and my wallet:

* Christian Aid Mission (www.christianaid.org) - I support a Kenyan evangelist who reaches out to nomadic tribes in Kenya, and a Kenyan couple who run an orphanage in Kenya. 

* Opportunity International (www.opportunity.org) - I give to a fund that provides women in Uganda with small loans to start enterprises that can repay the loans and sustain their families

* Bread for the World Institute (www.bread.org) - the advocacy arm of this DC agency, which works to end hunger here and abroad through US domestic and foreign policy

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