This is what works when giving to the needy: “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what our right hand is doing.” Matthew 6:3
We can be generous, but it has to be in the context of the culture we live in.
1. Give, don’t lend. Expecting to be paid back puts too many negative thoughts in my head and in theirs.
2. Give anonymously. We found that giving through our local church was a much better way to help the needy. Not only did the individual not know where the money was coming from, but the church also perceived the real need and a fabricated need.
3. Emergencies. We would give when it was life and death. No time for rounding up the family, no time to negotiate. In our many years abroad, those times have been few, but when it was the mother, father, baby’s life, we gave what we needed to to ensure their care.
4. Look for legitimate occasions to give: birthdays, holidays, births, deaths, parties, marriages… And then give what is appropriate for the culture you are in.
5. Trade work for money. It works. If they are truly needy, they will be willing to work. We have created many jobs, just so we can help a brother in need.
6. Homemade gifts, food or sewing, is always a very nice touch.
Temper your giving with wisdom. Pray for where and when you should give. Money is such a problem. I have seen much harm done by both extremes: stinginess and being overly generous. These people survived before you came, and they will have to survive after you leave. If they are believers, God is their help, not you.
The posts for this blog are written by Bonnie unless otherwise indicated. To give her a measure of anonymity in the country where she now lives, her daughter in the United States uploads her posts to the blog and shares them on social media.