This post will be serving as a complement to a future post I’ll be doing on the failure of foreign aid. That’s right. So if you think your almsgiving has been helping people, think again. It might just have been funnelled to a terrorist agency, who knows.
The point is, don’t give blindly. Look at the financial breakdown of agencies you’re prospectively giving to in order to avoid scams (see Steve Irwin scam). Also, especially for churches – if your church is planning on building a multimillion-dollar new structure to incorporate new bells and whistles, while the main complex has proven to be relatively structurally sound, don’t go building it. If you really want to renew your city and impact the world, start a homeless sponsorship program or support a native missionary!
(BTW for you non-Christian readers, I’m going to argue a thesis that sponsorship of native-missionaries is becoming more effective as a medium for positive social change than traditional means).
The purchasing power of the US dollar in undeveloped countries could mean the difference between your sponsorship of Bill Missionary on a 6-week term from the US vs. support of Rajasekhar, Khagendra, Shen, and 16 others like them full-time and year-round, willing to risk all for Jesus.
Which is the better “investment”?
Originally published September 24, 2006
KAMPUNG JAWA, Indonesia // The tsunami of 2004 triggered the biggest humanitarian response in history, feeding the hungry, heading off epidemics and engendering the hope that out of a calamity that took 216,000 lives, a better Indian Ocean rim would emerge.
But 18 months later recriminations are rife, with aid agencies standing accused of planning poorly, raising unrealistic expectations and simply being incompetent.