Friday, November 10, 2006

Personal Legacy: Vision and Values

What values and experiences inform our giving decisions?
  1. We believe we are called, first, to advance God's Kingdom and Glory among the nations of the world. (Matthew 6:33)
  2. It is our understanding that there exist Unreached Peoples—peoples or "ethnic" groups among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize the group.
  3. It is our understanding that approximately 40% of the world's population lives within such groups.
  4. It is our understanding that an estimated 96% to 97% of all Christian charitable contributions in the United States are directed toward ministries within the United States and only 3% to 4% is left for the rest of the world; 99% of all "missionaries" work among "Reached" peoples; barely 1% of all "missionaries" are assigned to work among Unreached Peoples. . . ) . . .
  5. Our understanding of these realities leads us to seek to invest in the under-funded, least-reached portion of the world.
  6. For whatever reason--though we expect it is probably due to our involvement in education--we are highly oriented toward ministries that have to do with literacy, literature, and reading.
  7. We believe we ought to focus our giving, rather than scatter it broadly. At this point, therefore, we have determined to focus on just a few ministries that focus specifically on the five largest blocs of Unreached Peoples--the Tribals, Hindus, Unreached Chinese, Muslims and Buddhists (THUMB as an acronym).
  8. As former staff members of the U.S. Center for World Mission and now as businesspeople, we recognize that there are many unromantic, unemotionally-compelling, yet absolutely necessary "back-office," logistical and infrastructural tasks that need to be fulfilled if the more exciting front-lines tasks are to be completed successfully. We are willing to support these "back-lines" efforts.
  9. We are not inclined to support efforts to build "mission station" kinds of facilities: school buildings, hospitals, houses and church buildings.
  10. We are, similarly, not inclined to support "relief and development" efforts that leave recipients in dependent conditions.
  11. Emergency disaster relief: all right--if combined with spiritual ministry.
  12. Literacy and numeracy education that leaves the recipient better able to care for him or herself: great.
  13. Microloan types of financial assistance where a person is able to attain independence: wonderful. However,
  14. We always want to be doing the things that are underfunded and less likely to be supported by others. Therefore, right now, while "the world" is enchanted with the microloan strategy for development, we are disinclined to participate . . . simply because "everyone else" is doing it and we think we ought to do what is more obscure.
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