When natural or human caused disaster occurs, we see a gracious outpouring of generosity here at Xenos. In recent years, for instance, over $200,000 has been donated for emergency relief after the Haiti earthquake and Hurricanes Katrina and Matthew.
This generosity is rooted deeply in the soil of biblical priorities for God’s people. Much of the New Testament teaching on financial giving comes in the context of Paul’s efforts to raise money to relieve famine in Jerusalem. Meeting this pressing need was intended to demonstrate Christian unity across ethnic lines (Galatians 2:9,10), to express gratitude for God’s material blessing (2 Corinthians 9:8,9), as a witness to non-Christians who benefit from the generosity (2 Corinthians 9:12,13), and by way of the principle material equality (2 Corinthians 8:13-15).
Because of the frequency and magnitude of these terrible situations and the need to respond in a coordinated way, we are establishing a Disaster Relief Fund. This fund will enable our church to respond quickly and generously as needs arise. When a disaster occurs, the elders will open the fund to donors and set an appropriate financial target.
The target is based on:
Range of needs. In some situations, immediate financial giving is actually less important than longer-term relief and development. For instance, FEMA and other government resources were able to meet the immediate needs of Hurricane Katrina, but the cleanup and care for victims in the following months required short-term mission teams to help out. Dozens of Xenos high school students went to the New Orleans area to give comfort to people who lost everything and to assist in clearing debris. We envision teams forming around this type of service will be needed in the future and view it as an important part of our response to natural disasters.
Extent of relief available. The U.S. and the developed world have enormous resources available to meet emergency needs. So it is rare to see the kind of wide-spread famine, homelessness, and disease that too often accompanies disasters in the developing world. While we can and should respond to disasters here at home by a combination of financial generosity and sending teams to help, the priority for larger financial targets will be to the developing world.
Reliable partners who can effectively steward financial gifts. We have worked with several excellent Christian relief and development ministries over the years. These Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) practice open accounting and have experts who coordinate relief and development in the name of Christ and on behalf of His church. These NGO’s are our first funding priority. Other organizations, such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross will also be considered.
People here at Xenos often give more than the goals we have set for giving to a particular disaster. Giving beyond the target amount will be kept in the Disaster Relief Fund as seed money for future crises. You can make a tax-deductible contribution on this web page or by writing a check to Xenos Christian Fellowship with the specific disaster identified on the memo line. Thank you for your gracious gift!