A Transformational response to tragedy and crisis, Part III: More than giving to those who suffer

We continue to devote our blog to serve as a place where we can do more than recommend organizations through which you can give your money to help those in Haiti–precisely because giving our money does not exhaust that to which God calls us in this hour.

To that end, Mission Increase Foundation Giving and Training Officer Matt Bates:

Marilyn McCord Adams has an interesting take on the problem of evil from a Christian perspective here.

Based on her position, a transformational question that springs to mind is: how can we, like God, suffer with those who are suffering in this tragedy and resist the temptation to remain aloof? And is it possible that some gifts inoculate us from suffering and permit us to remain aloof?

The main thrust of PEO [Participation/Engagement/Ownership] is to coach champions into the fullness of the image of Christ; Adams’ take is that, though we can’t know why God permits evil, He is present in human sufferings. So whatever our response to Haiti, a transformational element must be that we take on the condition of the Haitians as our own, to share in the burden of suffering with them.

The ttf [traditional transactional fundraising] model works in part because it buffers us from suffering. We’re told by the nonprofit that we can remain in our current state as long as we give. The impulse to actually do something is subtly discouraged and eventually deadened because the nonprofit is acting on behalf of its donors.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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1 Response to A Transformational response to tragedy and crisis, Part III: More than giving to those who suffer

  1. Tracy Nordyke says:

    I’ve been thinking about Haiti a lot.

    I heard a radio program (from a respected Christian radio show host btw) yesterday that was focused on raising funds for the relief effort. I have to say that the tone of the program made my stomach turn. The host said that Christian based relief orgs had taken a lot of unfair flack over the weekend based on the accusations that they would do too much proselytizing. The host then proceeded to say that indeed we wanted Christians to be the ones the Haitians remembered and connected with aid over people like Chavez, Castro, the NKs and Chinese who would certainly be trying to spread communism with their aid efforts.

    The tone sounded very much like “Come on everyone we have to be sure Christians come out looking better than everyone else when this is over.”


    The other question I’m struggling with is one of rebuilding. I’ve read numerous articles which mention the governmental instability, political corruption, infighting etc prevalent in Haiti pre-disaster. So while I’m totally on board with rushing relief supplies and personnel to the area in the interest of meeting the basic need for food, clean water and medical supplies, I’m not totally on board with the concept of rebuilding the country. The question seems to me to be, rebuild what? And by whom, for whom?

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