giving

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2005
giving
8
Sun, 09-23-2012 - 11:31pm

We are in a small group at church.  There is a family in the group who are not well off at all.  They struggle each month to make ends meet.  The husband is working hard at two low paying jobs.  He's working towards a teaching degree so he can get a permanent job as an educator.  They have two kids, a dog or two, and recently adopted a cat.  

They decided about a month ago that they want to go on a mission trip to Africa and also adopt an orphan from there.  Obviously mission work is AWESOME, as is saving an orphan.

Recently our small group leader had a discussion with the group (minus the family  I'm talking about) about helping them out financially.  Our group is relatively new but we are growing closer and closer - trying to be like a little family.  DH and I would help them out gladly.  

I'm wondering what you all think about a family in this situation deciding to spend so much money on a mission trip and on adopting another child.  Again, I know these are great things, and the Bible does say to give and to help orphans.  But the Bible also talks a lot about wisdom and the value of being wise.  Does it not make more sense to get their finances in order before taking this on?

I think of the "teach a man to fish" saying.  I know that that applies more to a person "wasting" money that would be given to them...and adopting an orphan certainly is not a waste of money, but......????

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
In reply to: bumper22
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 12:17am

First I would like to preface that I am an atheist and I look at this purely from a cost-effectiveness standpoint.  It sounds a little bit odd that they have to go all the way to Africa to adopt an orphan.  There are plenty of children in the US who need a family.  State agencies even pay people to foster children.

There is so much good they could do at home, for a lot less.  I don't know these people, but cannot help wonder if is not just purely a mission trip, but somewhat of an ego trip as well.  After all, it is the "in thing" these days to go to Africa and adopt children. 

Also, how cosmopolitan are these people?  Sometimes Americans with very little cultural awareness do more harm than good when they start meddling with children from other countries.  Many orphans in Africa are either war orphans with PTSD (as they witnessed their family being hacked to death or mother/sisters being gang raped) or HIV positive (orphaned as a result of mother died of AIDS) and they usually have special needs and require additional care.  If this family is short on money and/or time, it may not be the best fit.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2001
In reply to: bumper22
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 10:37pm

I consider myself Christian, although I haven't been in a church in years.  I've read the Bible through a couple of times, but I can't quote every passage as some people can.  I have supported mission trips with a small donation, but they were trips with a true ending.  This trip could be a very open ended one for your church group.  Suppose these people do adopt, then find that they have brought home a financial nightmare to add to the one that they already had; will they expect to turn to the little group to continue supporting them and their wishes?  You bet they will!  Your group, IMHO, should gently suggest that this trip is NOT one that your little group can support, when the group is trying to get a start on its own.

 

pinchpenny2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2001
In reply to: bumper22
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 4:37pm
The more I think about this, the more my mind is saying NO! NO! NO! These people are already in financial trouble, and this is just a way to get the gulible people of the church involved. Especially, if they adopt a child. Get your little church family going; help those within the group who may need help and keep your giving at home. Missionaries have been going to Africa as long as I can remember, and I'm 74. I can't see that there is any progress being made. If exceedingly wealthy people can support missions OK, that's great. Take care of your own, and this does not mean bailing out people who have mis-spent their money. It means people who have lost jobs, family members, and the sick.
pinchpenny2000
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
In reply to: demontespan
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 11:52am

1.  This IS the finance board, after all.  If someone wants an answer to drop fromm the sky, I guess he/she can to go the Christian Families board.

2.  And who is to say that god has not asked the OP to work it out herself?

 

"Seek the truth in all things, in so far as God has granted that to human reason." - Copernicus

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2005
In reply to: bumper22
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 9:35pm

Thank you, it was interesting to read the replies!

And I"m sorry, I did not realize there was  a Christian finance board.  I guess I should have posted on there, though I appreciate the opinions of anyone, Christian or not!

Thanks again!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
In reply to: mahopac
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 4:22pm

Bumper, it's a Christian *Families* board, not Christian *Finance*.

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
In reply to: bumper22
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 11:22am
Hi bumper,

This is the Finance board, and definitely the right place to have posted this. We do have a Christian Families board, where you could also get advice from a different perspective.

Has your group decided what to do yet? Will you go along with their decision or try to offer another solution?