Christian giving to orphan care has grown roughly 3X faster than all charitable giving by Americans — 4 years in a row!
(Christian Alliance for Orphans website)
Their giving seems to indicate that Bible-believing Christians do have a heart for orphaned and vulnerable children. We are grateful for the many churches and individuals who generously and faithfully support Bethesda Outreach. About 20% ($96,500) of our operations cost comes from US donors. If we include capital projects and other designated US giving, 38% of total income comes from the US while 62% is from South Africa. Your choice to include Bethesda Outreach in your giving is both a huge encouragement and a great investment in the lives of vulnerable children.
In a recent World Magazine article* (here), Joel Belz gives a few basic guidelines to help make good giving choices when faced with the many opportunities that come our way. He concludes his advice by giving the reader this interesting assignment:
When you send a check to one of your favorite nonprofit charities, ask its staffers to send you, with your receipt, a few sentences including an example of a hard choice they’ve made because of their commitment to a biblical principle.
Let me provide 2 examples for Bethesda Outreach:
One example – we believe that children need to belong in a family with both a Mom and a Dad. We believe that is the model taught in Scripture. Of all the orphan care models, it can be the most costly. When we make appeals for funds toward operations, this is the heartbeat of what we do: a vulnerable child in a home with parents and siblings, learning and seeing the gospel lived out in the context of a Christian family. The cost sometimes presses us toward asking, “isn’t there a less expensive way?” While cost savings and careful budgeting are commitments we embrace, we believe in family-centered orphan care.
A second example – we believe that South African orphaned and vulnerable children can best be cared for and discipled by South Africans. That is not to say that US staff and visitors do not play an important role; but, we believe that US staff serve alongside our SA brothers and sisters to help them as they face such an enormous need in their own country. Now, having SA leadership in place and our entire school staff being certified SA teachers (due to US staff visa issues), the cost of this commitment has skyrocketed in this past year. The x4 US-funded missionary staff lost in the past 12 months have been replaced by SA staff which requires additional funding. While we continue to develop new revenue possibilities through development of business on our property, we ask for your help because we believe that Bethesda children are best cared for by South Africans with the encouragement and assistance of our USA personnel.
Of all the giving choices you make, I believe Bethesda Outreach is one where you can be confident that the Bible shapes and motivates our care for the fatherless. We strive to be gospel focused, family centered and church driven.