Is this a question for all your blog readers or for the missionary women? I'd be interested in the answers of those who serve in missions.I'm feeling like God wants us to give when we have something to give and even when it means a sacrifice to give. This is a hard road it seems. For me included. But God gave his only Son and paid the price for all. Should'nt we do the same? Also, it seems that we often are taken advantage of but doesn't the Bible say we are to turn the other cheek and forgive 70 x 7? I've heard it said this means always.I'm asking questions here because sometimes I struggle with this myself but it helps me when I understand that God owns everything I have. It is just on loan to me and it is my job to use it for God's glory and let him do with it what he will.I really will look forward to the wisdom of those who are on the field as you are in a different situation than most. I'd also be interested in those that aren't on the field since personally I find it hard to get others excited in helping those who are far less fortunate than ourselves. Most people, Christian or otherwise, want to have what they want. Me too, but the funds don't usually extend far enough :-). When we feel too much tension about our giving and the demands on our resources, sometimes we allow our joy to go too. I have to guard myself against this because I should never pout to have the privilege of helping someone God puts in my path. The scripture says he wants me to be a cheerful giver. I'm thinking that doesn't just pertain to when I give a tithe to the church.God bless. x
We live in a beggar mentality society. Sometimes giving actually does a lot of harm. There are many who beg because it makes money, plain and simple. They don't want a job because begging is profitable. And it often puts children in danger. We almost never give to children. I know that sounds harsh, but let me explain. The children have access to public schools and therefore access to lunch. Some parents will keep their children out of school to beg at tourist spots. They know they will make more money. And some will even intentionally cut their children (or the children cut themselves) for sympathy points. I have seen children with huge, gaping cuts on their bodies that were swollen... But clearly cut, and recut, and recut... Never allowed to heal, all for the purpose of begging. So how do we know when to give? Lots and lots of prayer! We have a very loose hold on our money and materials, willing to give at any time, but in this outcry, it may be damaging to the people more than helpful. We are trying to teach the people to look to God for their supply. It is so easy to look to the rich missionary. We are like their credit card. We are also trying to teach them about being responsible, seeking to work. When we give, we usually find a way to give anonymously. I know this isn't the same situation or this extreme in every country, but definitely something to consider. (On a side note, we never give to the Hindu priests that go around begging. They feel it is their right to get money for scaring off the evil spirits.)
*country... Not outcry. Ha! Silly auto correct.
It's very difficult. We ask God for wisdom. Mostly, now, with the economic problems in Spain, we are helping our own church people. We know their situations and help them personally. Street beggars are not as much of a problem as they used to be years ago, but there still are people begging at the doors of Catholic churches and supermarkets. When people come to church one time and ask for money, we try to do some research. It is still hard to know who really needs help and who is exploiting others' generosity. For my husband and me, this has been a very difficult part of the ministry. We have been "taken" so many times.
Obviously, we do all we can to help our church people when they have needs. But they are learning to not ask us, but to pray and God will provide. We try to set the example in this. For example, if the church needs something, we add it to the prayer list without telling anyone. Often, when a group from the States comes, they just *happen* to bring exactly what was on our prayer list (Bibles, musical instruments, etc). When it comes to those outside of the church, we have a system that has been working well. One lady we dont know recently came and asked us to "lend" her 50.00 to pay her rent. My husband said, instead of a loan, that he would just give her five dollars to help a bit. It was a gift to her. And then they prayed together that God would provide the rest. No one gets mad at free money and prayer in this country. We've learned a lot over the years after being burned badly in this area. But we are always learning and trying to do better with Gods help :)
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