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A big mistake that people make when giving to the poor.

Posted by on February 10, 2014 | 7 comments

There are billions of people in this world that are kind and generous. We thank God for them. However, there are many people who also love to take advantage of them. Watch the following video from Fox News.

Can this happen among orphans and poor communities? YES! I have been caring for orphans for many years now and I grew up as an underprivileged child myself. There are many poor people in need. But there are many also whose relatives could take care of them but they don’t because they want orphanages and poverty alleviation organizations to spend the money. They may do this in many ways. Here are just two of them:

1) They may deceive the organization that the child is an orphan when one or both parents are alive and living in another city, town or village. Some people do this because besides saving them money, their children may stand a better chance at succeeding in life if they are put in the right orphanage. Perhaps, a foreigner may befriend them and take them abroad or pay for them to go to the university or even marry them!
2) An orphan who has lost both parents is presented by relatives as poor even though the relatives themselves are capable of taking care of the child. The only reason they don’t do it is because they know that there are organizations that would spend the money so that they can save theirs. Sometimes, there may actually be family resources left behind by the deceased parents that could provide for the children’s needs. Note: Not all orphans need to be helped. There are some orphans who have enough resources left by their parents to take care of them. Those don’t need to be helped.

A big mistake that people make when giving to the poor is to think that every poor person needs financial help! That’s usually because people haven’t learned how to diagnose the problem before solving it.

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  1. I think there’s a lot of truth in this post! A lot of people will help homeless people on the corner or orphans because they think that they really need the financial help. May times it’s not such an emergency situation. It’s easy for the poor to become codependent on other people were always giving them handouts or paying for them in different ways. Yes it is important for us to take care of those who are in emergency relief-needed situations, but the same time it would be even more helpful for us to teach them how to take care of their own problems. Kind of like the teaching a man to fish versus giving him a fish proverb.

  2. Hello Dr Kenneth and Mike. Those where good postings and I believe that if the orpanagei is a good one, it can teach the children to become responsible and teach others. I have a friend who is taking care of more than 10 children and non s hers, both orphans and non orphans. She is led by the LORD and does it with joy. the older ones have graduated from tietiary institutions and now helping her to bring up the others.; and more are still coming in. There is this organisation, ‘Teach a man to fish’ info@teachamantofish.org.uk which can be of help. you can get to their website by typing that log.

    Remain blessed.


    • Thank you Tima for sharing with us! It sound like The Lord is doing great things through your friends’ obedience in caring for children!

  3. I would like to offer a different perspective to the points you made about children who may not truly need the help of an orphanage in this post.
    Parents or relatives who would intentionally deceive an organization to care for their child’s needs when they have the resources to provide for them themselves are spiritually bankrupt. How will those children ever learn the love of Christ, to love their neighbor as themselves, or sacrificial giving from parents such as these? If the orphanage is of the Christian faith, and imparting the need for a relationship with Jesus Christ, and biblical Christian values to those in their care, It could truly be a soul-saving option for children such as these.

    • Hello Mike,
      Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective. I really appreciate it. I agree with you, people like that are spiritually bankrupt. I also agree with you that children living with people like that are unlikely to learn the ways of Christ. There is no question about that, I wish it were different.

      I’ve actually considered the perspective you’ve brought up in the past because our orphanage has led so many children to Christ who are loving the Lord and walking with him.

      The only problem I found with taking children from otherwise capable people is that:

      !) There won’t be room in the orphanage for every child because many of these countries are so corrupt. For example, you have to bribe to enter medical school to be a doctor! I tried to enter medical school in one of them but couldn’t because they required large sums of money for bribes. I came to the U.S. and was admitted into medical school here. The corruption is so widespread that it is suffocating. It’s in every sector of life. People require bribe to get a job with the government, bribe to enter school, bribe to drive on the roads with your own car, bribe when they need to do anything.

      2) Another problem with that is, God has called parents to raise their own children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. What we need to do is not take their children away from them but PRAY AND EVANGELIZE THESE PARENTS SO THAT PERHAPS, GOD MAY SAVE SOME. God knew exactly why he gave these children to them. I don’t think it was for us to take them from them, unless they are otherwise incapable. We can pray for revival to hit these countries and for people to be saved…

      3) Donors and sponsors to a non-profit would also love their funds to go to true suffering orphans, not to help someone evade their responsibility.

      4) Doing so is helping them avoid doing their God given duty to care for their loved ones, and in a way helping them disobey God.

      5) There is a principle of effective poverty alleviation that says, “Don’t do for people what they can do for themselves.”

      6) The best way to go about serving the children is to evangelize the children directly. We train our children to share Christ with their friends at school and we’ve seen God use that to reach other children.

      Thanks for your perspective.

      • Thank you for your response Dr. Kenneth. I agree with all of your points, (point 4 especially hit home). I never thought of it that way.
        It is a dream for me and my wife to start an orphanage of our own in Peru, this site has been a great help to me. I am prayerfully considering joining with an established ministry/organization rather than striking out on our own. Thanks again

      • Fantastic comment. Thankyou!

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