Dear Ministry Partners,
I am writing to you this month instead of my father, because I am the person at EAPE who relates most directly with our missionary partners, and I need to know what tell them when they ask if this economic crisis is going to stop us from reaching out to hurting people in some of the world’s most difficult places. The answer, of course, depends on you.
At our most recent meeting, one of EAPE’s most experienced board members neatly summarized the problem: “When budgets get tight,” he said, “goodness is almost always the first thing to go.” Judging from the phone calls and emails I have been receiving from West Philadelphia, Toronto, and Camden, not to mention Haiti and Zimbabwe, that sounds about right. Virtually all our ministries are telling us that while their people are needier than ever, their donations are suddenly way down. Because these ministries are already very lean, that means they have two choices: Cut programs or get more help from us.
Of course, I know that many of you are also being hurt by this crisis. Likewise, because my primary job is being a neighborhood minister in inner-city Cincinnati, my wife and I are facing some difficult choices about our kids’ educations. Even so, we don’t have to look very far to see people in much worse shape, who can’t afford for us – for any of us - to stop caring.
So then, instead of another story about all the great ways you and I are helping to build the Kingdom of God through the work of EAPE, this month I am writing to you with a simple request: As we settle into what may be a long hard time, don’t let your goodness to others be the first, or the second, or the forty-second thing to go. For God’s sake, and for the sake of his neediest children, cut back on something else. Keep giving what you can, and not just to EAPE, so that together we can say to those most sacrificial servants of God around the world:
“Don’t stop! Keep going! Keep loving! We’re still behind you, in the name of Jesus!”
On behalf of all of us, thank you.
P.S. Did you know that you can support EAPE conveniently and securely online? If you go to eape.org and click “DONATE” you can make a one-time credit card donation or a pledge of monthly support. If you would like information about making a monthly gift automatically from your checking or savings account, please contact Robert Gauthier () at my office and he will be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.
Interested in giving to us through the United Way? EAPE’s number is 262.
ABOUT TONY + NOVEMBER 2008