Sorting Through Giving Options
Help, Too Many Good Options
On a regular basis, we receive numerous requests for support from organizations reporting impact of thousands of lives. You may have received the same. The need and potential impact with our dollars can sometimes be overwhelming. You may have felt the same.
To help us decide where to give, there are four things that we consider when deciding to send support:
- Is what they are doing in line with our heart to see people come to Christ and grow in their relationship with Christ?
- Do we know them personally? (We believe God puts relationships together).
- Do they stay in touch besides communicating support needs (including expressing gratitude)? It’s about relationship.
- Is the Holy Spirit leading us to give? If God is leading us to give, then we give, regardless of other considerations.
If we answer to these questions, then we give. And we believe giving in such a matter makes a difference.
Impact and Numbers
How much impact does an organization make with our dollars? It depends on how impact is defined. I ran a summer camp for 5 years in a refugee community and reported that we impacted hundreds of lives. But over the years as I kept up with the kids, I saw kids down the road end up as pregnant teens, as prisoners, as gang members, as school dropouts… Yes, there were kids down the road who were thriving, but the difference was not because they came to my summer camp, it was that they had a family and a community that was offering the love and guidance they needed to be well-adjusted. The difference was family. The difference was community. So what impact were we really making? Asking this question led to the start of The Refuge. We started The Refuge because we wanted to make a deeper impact through discipleship instead of a broader “impact” through programs that met temporary needs.
Life-change is unmeasurable. We cannot report that we saw someone have a 20% increase in their walk with Christ, or anything like that. That would be unrealistic. Even someone coming to Christ, which we have seen, does not necessarily mean they will thrive in their relationship with God. A growing relationship with God takes some effort. All we can say is we have seen the result of life-change: people finding hope, loving more, forgiving and being forgiven, giving back and going on mission trips. We are seeing kids from tough home situations making wise choices. To us, that is impact. Yes, it is unmeasurable. But God is real and alive and active and He is working in The Refuge.
So may we simply encourage you to continue to be sensitive to God’s leading in how he would have you be involved with the relationships that have crossed your path. As you do that, you will help make an impact. And if you’d like to give to The Refuge, the information is on the left of this page and your gift will be received with grateful hearts.