I am often asked How do you know who to help.. You often talk about stopping for the one in front of you ? How can we step over 40 people in a hospital hallway to go to help just one .. In light of yesterdays post, I thought I would try to answer that.
First of all, I have found a way that absolves me of much of the responsibility Let me explain. We do not operate the kind of Charity or Social fund that raises funds , then determines a budget for the next year based on those funds. We do not have funds looking for a need.. we have needs looking for funds. I simply post the need and leave it in your hands .. If the need is met we move forward , if its not we wait it does not take long to find out where we are supposed to help. That is the case most of the time when a need is brought before us .... BUT ...
You don't have to look very far to find needs on your own, with out them coming to you .. Take for example this person .. No one came asking for help , not even the person who lives here, (reactive Ministry) . So do we go deeper and find out more about the situation ?.. (proactive ministry)
This is likely the extent of this persons life .. this is not the life of an alcoholic or a drug addict This person is trying to maintain an orderly "home" we see a box carefully wrapped and covered likely containing personal items, along with that one special item that we might display proudly. We see shoes and a jacket and a face cloth. Under the face clothe a small stool , possibly for a guest, or to use as a head rest at night . There is food water and a glass plate . It is under the shade and protection of a big tree, and a fence at the back for further protection, yet open enough to get away if the threat is to great .
So what do we do here?
I guess that's the big question .. its not easy to know .. so that's when you have to rely on your "gut" , or your "heart" or that "feeling deep down" what ever you choose to call it .. I call it God .
We have no choice but to rely on his direction and guidance in everything that we do. WISDOM is the key.. not saying that we are wise by any standard, but when asked what we need most , we always say pray for wisdom.
Take yesterdays post for example .. I woke up from a dream around 5 am . In the dream, Larisa had called me to tell me of a need, and not in a way that there was any doubt or question , but with confidence like I had already known and had the money in my pocket for her and was simply waiting for her to call. and we are not talking chump change either .. this was a large amount in US $ (that's really large in Canadian $) Well I woke up, and reached for my phone. it was beside my bed, but the notifications turned off. Why was I not surprised to turn i on and find a message from Larisa .. this is not the usual way that Larisa would contact me, it is usually through one of our girls as there is a language barrier. The message was clear .. We have an emergency situation and need $2000 US light away .
Well this one is fairly clear to me that we need to be helping here . Even then, before posting I had to have some clarification .. The need was to pay off a loan before the house was taken back from a family that has already faced more then one should. ( read previous post) .. so that part is the no brainier for me, but here is where the wisdom comes into play .. we need to find out some thins before the need comes to the blog.. Like does this family have the deed for the house or will they have it when the final bill is paid.. can this be done at the registry office so there is no chance of them loosing the house .. because the need is real and they believe everything to be on the up and up, there are often times where people are taken advantage of by others .. In this case , everything is on the up and up. next up is the question of Honor .. This is an honor based culture, and if we just hand them the money in full, it may bring a level of humiliation and disgrace to them, even though they have asked for help. So by offering a very reasonable forgivable loan , 5 year no interest , with the first 30 months waved, they are able to feel that they have a part in this, and are doing their part. It will also give us on going contact with them over the years ahead to make sure they are OK , ad it is entirely possible that when they do start making loan payments that Larisa uses that money to help them and other families like them with other needs like medical care and food hampers ..
Next up is to post the need . This is the part where it is usually confirmed to me that we are to move forward. In the case of the this family who we are trying to keep in their home .. everything continues to confirm to me that we are to move forward .. In just a few hours of posting the need we had reached $500 and another $50 this morning .. I recognise that it is not always one person paying the whole shot, but if we all do a little, so much can be done .. THAT I DO KNOW
OH one more thing.. for me, when I finish the post and hit spell check, my whole page does not turn yellow .. that's a good indication.