Manipulating people into giving money for mission
I’ve said it before: I struggle to come to terms with missionaries manipulating funds from people in order to support their mission. Yesterday I received an email from someone that I don’t know within a mission that I know nothing about. The only time I hear from him is when they are in dire need of money. Freely translated, the email says the following: “Please pray with us that Father will provide and will bless our bank account at XXXX bank, account number XXXXXXXXXXX with R1720.85 (Rand – the South African currency) for essential reparations which need to be made to the mission vehicle. The reparations cannot be postponed and must be done as soon as possible. Also praise the Lord that HE will provide for the reparations.”
My emotions see-sawed between fury, indignation, frustration and disappointment after reading this. Most mission newsletters do speak about their needs. I have no problem with this. On many occasions people have said to me that they do want to hear about specific needs so that they can find means of providing what is really necessary. From time to time someone would ask me for a bank account number. But I’m getting sick and tired when I feel that missionaries are trying to manipulate others in giving money to them by taking them on a guilt-trip. Looking at that email my first question is: Make up your mind. Do you want us to pray that God will provide the money or do you want us to give the money? I would probably not even have had a problem if they had sent out regular newsletters to a number of prayer supporters with whom they have some kind of relationship and then to contact them with this special need. But asking that we pray that God will put the money into their account! I feel that I’m being misused.
I know a great number of people reading this blog are missionaries themselves. I would like to hear from those who are not missionaries but who feel obliged to support missionaries: How do you want to be approached when there is a specific need in some ministry? Do you want to be asked directly? Would you rather that God indicated where He wants you to get involved? Do you ever pray about where God wants you to give your money?
Help us, who are full-time missionaries, to understand how people feel who support missionaries.