God’s opportunity + His Word + the obedience of His people = approximately $3000.

This past Sunday I told you about 3 requests for assistance we’ve received recently. Then we looked at 1 John 3:18, “let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” and the result was just over $3,000 in donations to meet these needs. Wow! Crossing, you opened yourself up to God and allowed him to use you. When I spoke with one person that you helped, I explained your assistance like this, “We (Crossing people) believe all of us have a purpose and plan for our life on Earth. The essence of that purpose is to reflect the character and nature of God to the people we meet and become a part of our life. In some small way we hope the assistance we have given you helps you understand what God is like.”

Church, this past weekend you gave nearly $3,000 to meet the three needs I told you about in the service! That is so exciting. It is so great to see how God can and will use us when we open ourselves up to Him. God is honored by obedience and sacrifice. Let’s not let it stop here!

I have been asked what constitutes a “real need.” Currently we ask for verification of the need. Something like an eviction or utility shut-off notice. Certain situations are hard to verify, like the need for groceries or gas. We make it a policy to not provide cash or write a check to the person making the request. There have been requests we have not met.

We have not done in-depth investigation as to why someone is in need the first time a person asks for help. We attempt to verify the need through our discussion, how a person answers our questions and the documentation that is provided. But as we enter into a relationship with someone and become aware of decisions that obviously are detrimental to their financial stability the discussion of how to best help them takes a different direction. There have only been two occasions when a person has asked for assistance more than once. In each case enough questions were asked and documentation was provided to instill confidence about the request.

In December I met with Tom Hadderman to discuss how to formalize our process and give it more structure. We met again this week to review the draft documents and will meet again next week to continue the work on them. Other churches in our region have been very helpful by sharing how they handle benevolent issues. It is a work in process to say the least. The goal is to provide assistance and encouragement for folks who are in dire straights. There are many ways we can do that IF we have the people to put to the task.
The greatest need at the moment is to have more CCC people working with us on this ministry. If you are interested in learning more about the benevolent ministry contact me.

Thanks to those who have asked for clarification on this matter. I appreciate the attitude and heart behind your questions. The discussion helps to continue to refine our thinking and improve the way we assist people.