Last year charitable giving in the U.S. declined $6.42 billion — the largest drop recorded since Giving USA starting keeping track of America’s donations in 1987.
Since the focus of our ministry is to meet the most urgent needs of the poor, we often add extra expenses to our budget mid-year — such as the extra disaster aid we provided to Haiti after last year’s violent hurricane season. We feared that the economic downturn and subsequent nationwide drop in giving would affect our ability to meet these urgent needs this year. But God had other plans.
Not only have we been able to continue supporting all of our projects in the field, last week we were also able to meet two very urgent needs — things that weren’t planned for in our budget.
First, we were able to help the Togetherness in Christ Orphanage in western Haiti put a new engine in their truck, which they desperately needed to haul clean water in for the more than 90 orphans under their care.
Next, we provided the funds to one of our mission partners in southwest Haiti, the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF), to buy a new stretch-body Land Cruiser to replace the vehicle that was destroyed in a horrific accident. Two of HHF’s staff and a young child were killed a few weeks ago when a truck with 14 staff members returning from a rural village health clinic careened off the road and fell 50-feet into a river.
Michael Wilson, our international projects director, shared with our staff an e-mail he received from HHF Executive Director Marilyn Lowney expressing her gratitude over the new truck. Below is what he shared with us:
Dear Cross International Family,
As most of you may recall, our friends at the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) suffered the tragedy of losing employees/friends last week in an automobile accident. While we can’t bring back the ones they love and lost, we can help them through this ordeal. Jim [Cavnar, president of Cross] has authorized the purchase of a vehicle to replace the one destroyed in the accident. When I called this morning to tell them, Marilyn cried and said, “All of you folks at Cross are such good friends to HHF. Please know how much we appreciate it.” I thought it was worth sharing this with you as proof positive that what we do matters. Thanks.
The fact that we were able to meet these two urgent needs in the middle of a depressed economy is a true testament to God’s ability to provide in spite of our earthly circumstance. Just as God multiplied the widow of Zarephath’s oil and flour after she gave what she had left to Elijah (1 Kings 17:8-16), the Lord provided us with the means to help some of our mission partners in great need. We serve a great God!