As the world faces the largest refugee crisis since World War II (UNHCR), 51 million men, women and children—many of them Christians—are in desperate need of help. While Christians around the world are ready to provide spiritual, physical and emotional aid, these efforts are being hindered by ongoing global financial turmoil and a public distrust of governments, corporations and NGOs resulting from widespread financial scandal.
Every year at this time it happens: Mailboxes from New York to California are flooded with year-end appeals from nonprofit organizations seeking donations. The appeals highlight giving opportunities for child sponsorship, rescue missions and many other kinds of ministries. With everything else going on during the holiday season, the seemingly incessant requests for cash can be confusing—even overwhelming—for many folks. How do we decide which ones merit our consideration . . . and money?
The worldwide economic downturn is still with us. It has hampered generosity, as many givers have found themselves likewise facing hardship: pay cuts, job loss, an underwater mortgage, a dwindling portfolio as the years tick down toward retirement.