During the years I served as editor of Charisma, I often cringed when I saw how Christian leaders manipulated the Bible and their audiences to raise money. Some evangelists promised that if we gave in their hyped-up "miracle offerings," all debts would be erased overnight. Others said that a gift of $500 would release healing or salvation to a loved one. And last month one prominent pastor asked each of his followers to give $300 so he could raise $65 million to buy a Gulfstream jet.
All this exploitation and greed in our movement turned me off so much that I sometimes found it difficult to take an offering for a legitimate cause. So when the Lord called me into full-time ministry, and asked me to establish a network of mission projects around the world, I had to face a huge personal obstacle. I struggled to raise funds for the cause of Christ because I was afraid of being viewed as a charlatan.
But today I am doing something I've never done in the 18 years that I've written this column. I'm asking for money.
If you've followed my career you know that after serving at Charisma, I left my day job and devoted myself to The Mordecai Project, a ministry that is confronting gender-based violence in many parts of the world. I began partnering with indigenous leaders in Asia, Africa and Latin America to provide healing, protection and hope for women and girls who are abused, abandoned or oppressed.
So far, on our shoestring budget, we've been able to establish a home for abandoned girls in India and a domestic violence shelter in Colombia. We've also acquired land in Peru and Guatemala to begin shelters in communities where women are at serious risk. And as God provides funds, we are ready to begin more homes for girls and shelters for women in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria, Ecuador and El Salvador.
Because I'm the father of four girls, and because I've seen global oppression of women up close—in the form of domestic violence, forced marriage, mutilation, sex trafficking and other injustices—I've dedicated my life to this cause. But the problem is way too big for me to confront alone. I need thousands of partners to tackle the most critical human rights crisis of the 21st century.
In many developing countries today, women are abused sexually, denied education and health care, and treated like slaves simply because they are female. Yet we know that Jesus cares about women, and He came to elevate them, heal their pain and protect them from injustice. This is the message I have preached in 29 countries since the year 2000.
I have currently set a goal to raise $100,000 to purchase a home for our girls in India. But I would not be honest if I told you this is all we need. It will take at least $1 million to launch all 17 projects we have on the drawing board. And once we begin these shelters we will move on to even needier mission fields—including the Middle East, where women suffer under unimaginable oppression.
I don't claim that a gift to The Mordecai Project will wipe out all your debts or guarantee you a bigger house or new job. I'm offering no gimmicks. But based on the promises of Scripture I can assure you:
- That when you give to the poor, God will repay you (Prov. 19:17).
- That when you are generous, you will also be blessed (Prov. 11:25).
- Proverbs 28:27 says: "He who gives to the poor will never want."
There are hundreds of reputable ministries and missions organizations that need our money, and I am not asking anyone to stop giving to causes that they already support. But I can assure you that The Mordecai Project is good soil for your seed. I have submitted this ministry to the oversight of godly pastors. We don't waste money. And if you designate your funds to a specific project, we take no administrative fees out of your gift.
No amount is too small. It would bless God's heart, I believe, if we built our next girls' home in India with widows' mites from 10,000 people. And even if you cannot give, I sincerely ask that you join me in prayer that God will move upon the hearts of wealthy donors who have the gift of giving, that they would help us raise the $1 million we need to establish our first 17 shelters and girls' homes.
When I first began The Mordecai Project, the Lord showed me that the women we rescue from abuse, violence and poverty will one day become mighty Esthers who will change nations. I surrendered to the call to be a Mordecai to help these women arise. Please join me in this vital work.
Please consider donating to The Mordecai Project, India and help put a stop to the horrific atrocities these women face daily. To donate, visit christianlifemissions.org.
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. You can follow him on Twitter @leegrady. His work to protect women from abuse was featured in the March issue of Charisma.
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