Whether you’re considering taking a new job, buying a new car, or, in this case, giving money to help those suffering in Haiti…it must be a prayerful matter.
That is what we discussed in my men’s group Thursday morning, and I believe that we always need to be reminded of this truth. Anything we do as Christians should be brought before the throne of the Lord in prayer, asking our Father what we should do. And it is in His response (whether through the Word of God or the conviction of the Holy Spirit) in which we must obey…or else it is sin.
Let me quickly say that this is not about a guilt trip to get you to give to this mission for Haiti…on the contrary, this is a reminder for you to ask God what He should have you do…if anything at all. If the Lord speaks to your heart and says, “Don’t give”, and you go ahead and give anyway because you want to meet a need, then you are sinning against God (ouch!). I know that sounds harsh, especially in that direction of giving when God might say “No.” However, the reverse is just as true. If the Lord is speaking to your heart and you know that He is calling you to give, and you don’t give…well…that too is sin.
So, why do I say this?
Because I only want the Lord to be glorified in this effort to help Haiti. I don’t want it to be me that convinces you to give, I don’t want it to be your emotions, I don’t want it to be your feeling of guilt. I only want your giving if it is simply your response to God being the One who is telling you to give. Only in this will the Lord be glorified. And it is only in this do I trust that His will shall be done regarding this matter of giving to help those in Haiti.
So, please ask God what He is calling you to do. If He is calling you to give, then please give cheerfully knowing that you are bringing glory to His name. And if He is calling you not to give, then please don’t give, and please don’t feel guilty. Please know that you are being obedient to His leading, therefore you are bringing glory to His name in just the same manner. (Now, why don’t they put that on one of those “help starving children” commercials?)
Let me make one last, and important, clarifying point. God always wants us to be giving of our gifts and resources that He has given to us. It’s just a matter of where He is calling us give to. So, when I say, “if God is not calling you to give, then that’s ok.” that should never mean that, as a Christian, it is simply ok not to give. Because that is not true. The bible says that God loves a cheerful giver. Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, “When you give to the poor…”, not “if you give to the poor.” So, it’s not a question of “should I give or not give.” But rather you should ask God, “Do you want me to give to help Haiti or are you calling me to give elsewhere?”
The truth is that the Lord wants some of you to give to help these people in Haiti (and I hope you obey Him). And the Lord wants some of you not to give to Haiti because He has other plans for how He wants to use your money to help others. (and I hope you obey Him.)
And so…there is no right or wrong answer across the board when it comes to this issue of giving to help Haiti…therefore it must be a prayerful matter.
(if God is calling you to give, please see my post below for how you can help)
One thing, however, that He does want us all to do…and that is to pray. So, please be in prayer for this crisis in Haiti. Here are some prayer specifics:
- Pray for the people in Gonaive – they were hit the worst. The whole city has been under water for days. Many have died there. Bodies have been floating in the water, which is going to cause a lot of disease. Pray for the waters to recede so that aid can be brought in to help the people who are stranded.
- Pray for all of the relief organizations (small and large) that are down there right now trying to help the people. Pray for their safety for travel, as well as safety from the people who may potentially cause riots and attacks in trying to get food from them.
- Pray for the orphanage and churches that we have partnership with. Pray for the 3 of our 6 churches that were destroyed, including one of the pastor’s homes.
- Pray that the Lord will burden the hearts of our churches here in Delaware to take up an offering on Sunday that will go towards purchasing food for the people.
- Pray that if it is God’s will for me to travel there to help distribute the food to the village that we have built relationship with, that He would put it on the hearts of some people to sponsor me financially so that I can get a plane ticket. The ticket prices are now almost $800. The director of this mission effort is really hoping that I will be able to go because they are desperate for a few people to go and help.
- Pray that our efforts of purchasing food and getting aid to the people will be effective and that lives will be saved as a result.
- Pray that many people will come to put their faith in Jesus as a result of this crisis.