Have you ever wished you could be a philanthropist?
(Hungry children picking up kernels of corn dropped from passing trucks.)
For good stewardship and accountability, I keep records of what we are doing. They are private, not for bragging. For the fun of it, I fancy it my own little charitable foundation… a middle man for God, so to speak. I call it “Route 25/35. Route = road to follow. 25/35 = from Matthew 25:35. It doesn’t rank up there with Bill Gates or Franklin Graham or Bono… but even one drop of water raises the level of the sea.
As I said in an earlier post, I’ve used “The Purpose Driven Life” book to help me fine tune where I need to use my time and resources for the Lord… how I ‘give back’. I truly believe that a person should make ‘giving back’ a regular part of their lives. It goes beyond race or faith system or economic level. It is a human factor.
We believe giving comes in many forms. Not only money. It is time. It is resources. All three need to be given away.
As Christians, most of our giving goes faith-based organizations who reach out to all people regardless of their beliefs. The possibilities and needs within those areas are so huge; I MUST focus in on exactly my special niche. Otherwise I would burn myself out.
I have 2 Bible verses that guide my focus:
Matthew 25:35-36 For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.'
Acts 1:8 “… you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." For that to apply to my life, it means “be My witness in Clarksville, and in all Tennessee and the United States, and to the ends of the earth.”
All that being said, I know that my purpose as a Christian is serving Christ is to help those in need.
My “Jerusalem” work includes:
*Local mission and service projects thru my church. I also serve on its mission team.
*Manna Café – a feeding ministry to the homeless. They go to the people where they are. http://www.mannacafeministries.com/site/
*Donations and purchases from the Habitat for Humanity ‘ReStore’ shop.
My “Judea and Samaria” is weak right now. I need to find what projects to add here. There are a few that have grabbed my heart… I just need to find what my place is with them.
* www.navajomissions.org in NW New Mexico.
*Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
*And a yet-to-be-found within a day’s drive project.
And to reach “the ends of the earth” there is:
*Our sponsorships: 4 kids thru Compassion International ( www.compassion.com ). Plus I have 6 Compassion “writing buddies”. 3 kids thru Kenya’s Kids In Need ( www.galileeschool.org ). A Christian Religion teacher in Nairobi, Kenya thru Plant a Book (http://sites.google.com/site/plantabook/ ). A missionary thru Africa For Jesus ( www.africaforjesus.org ) We also donate and make purchases from their thrift shop that supports the ministry.
*Samaritan’s Purse (www.samaritanspurse.org ) which is how we respond to disaster relief and also we do 8 shoes boxes each year for distribution by Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse). Six boxes are for older boys since this is the group that gets the least boxes donated. And we also do 2 boxes with our little niece and nephew for children who are the same ages as they are.
*We regularly give to Mercy Ships www.mercyships.org and Mission Aviation Fellowship www.maf.org and have invested in microloans to widows thru Kiva www.kiva.org
Other charities we give to include:
*The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org ) where we sponsor 4 young orphan elephants.
*Operation Migration (http://operationmigration.org ) to help the highly endangered whooping cranes.
*The Cousteau Society (www.cousteau.org ) and The Ocean Futures Society (www.oceanfutures.org ) which is founded by Jean-Michel Cousteau.
I truly believe that “Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.”
And that is one of my purposes…