The Apostle John’s words have always haunted me:
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” —1 John 3:17, NLT
I was born into a preacher’s family, and I have been in the ministry all of my adult life. I’ve never been rich by the world’s standards, but I have always had enough money to live well. However, I know that is not the case for many of my brothers and sisters in ministry, especially those serving small churches or on the mission field.
I’ve talked with preachers who confided that they would have to work until they died because they had no retirement savings. I knew of others who lived in church parsonages all their ministry career, so they had no place to go when they became too old to work. And I’ve met missionaries who had no home, no income, and no marketable job skills when they returned to the U.S. after 30 or 40 years overseas.
Once again, John’s words haunted me:
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” —1 John 3:18, NLT
So, to put our love into action, we launched the Kairos Benevolence Fund in July 2012 for the purpose of raising donations to provide emergency financial assistance to ministers, missionaries, and their families.
I’ll admit—I had no idea how large the need was!
I wasn’t surprised when we received requests to help buy groceries or pay utility bills or even make a few mortgage payments. I wasn’t caught terribly off guard when we learned that some people couldn’t afford routine doctor or dental care. But I was totally unprepared to learn that some of our ministers and missionaries didn’t have enough money to:
- Pay for life-saving chemotherapy.
- Pay for Alzheimer’s care for a spouse.
- Or even pay funeral expenses when a spouse passed away.
How could God’s love be in us if we weren’t showing compassion and meeting such needs?
I’m so thankful for every individual and church that has become a financial partner with KBF, enabling us to raise more than $1.5 million in almost 7 years. You have helped us meet specific needs and made an undeniable difference in the lives of these faithful Kingdom servants.
I’ve been active in Christian ministry for nearly 50 years now, and my wife and children remind me that I can’t work full-time forever. (Although I’m determined to prove them wrong for a little while longer!) However, when my time comes to step aside, I will find great joy in knowing that the Kairos Benevolence Fund will continue to look for brothers and sisters in need and “show the truth by our actions.”
Yours in the Master's Service,
Founding Director, Kairos Benevolence Fund
Senior Vice President of Ministry Development, CDF Capital
Read more from The Cornerstone Winter/Spring 2019
We hope you are inspired by the stories in this issue of The Cornerstone. Thanks for being a part of God’s work to transform churches and lives.