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Not had internet access for the last few days and really missed this! Many thanks for your continued postings Mike.
(I have just popped a commment on the travelling along with music/listening to preaching question on yesterday's page)
Tearfund are a great charity that work with the world's poor.
Their website is
Blessings Helen.

My favorite charities…
The primary target can never really be the poor but on the culture that produced the poor (the first truth of systems theory is that every system is perfectly designed to produce the results it’s getting). For example, while it’s popular to think that guns are responsible for violence in Africa, political scientists agree it is rather the well-intentioned actions of Christian relief efforts that corrupt government-citizen relationships by “giving them fish instead of teaching them to fish.” Thus, training is always more important than food (where most organizations sadly primarily focus on quality of food even after the minimum diet is being met and not on the greater need of education - the “silver bullet” for all of society’s ills). Margaret Mead’s life work was basically the demonstration that most all of society’s ills were the direct result of people’s good intentions to address society’s ills (suggesting that most would go away if people would just ignore them and thusly stop supporting them).
My favorite charities that serves the poorest of the poor worldwide:
Amor Mission: www.amor.org (Mexico)
Two attorneys (husband and wife) quit their practice in L.A. and talked churches across the Southwest into allowing them help the churches choose where to build homes (and send food) for the poor of Mexico - then they went to churches in Mexico and asked them to help with such decisions providing: 1) No politics: no one could ever suggest that since one church got a new house for one of it’s members that one of it’s members had to get one - decisions could only be based on need, and 2) that any other church could participate. The biggest effect has thusly been on churches working together like never before (where strong feelings, for example, about men wearing earrings or women wearing pants had kept them apart). Amor also makes a big deal about using the simplest tools and including the family and friends during all aspects of construction to demonstrate how the community could have done all the work themselves (without special skills or expensive power tools). My children and I have worked on many homes for the poor in Mexico through this group and I can strongly recommend them.
Goodwill Industries: www.goodwill.org
Every 57 seconds, Goodwill places someone in a job (and unlike the Salvation Army below, they always pay their employees at least minimum wage and fully disclose all finances with IRS 990-T forms readily downloadable). It’s the world’s largest nonprofit providers of education and career services for disadvantaged people. Last year, local Goodwills collectively provided employment and training services to almost a million Americans. As such, Goodwill is consistently ranked among the top charities as well as top in my checkbook. Also, see Volunteers of America.
Salvation Army: www.salvationarmy.org
Commissioner Todd Bassett supposedly receives a salary of just $13,000 (plus housing) to manage this $2 billion organization and management guru Peter Drucker lists them as “By far the most effective organization in the U. S. No one even comes close to it in respect to clarity of mission, ability to motivate, measurable results, dedication, and putting money to maximum use.” See answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=564281. Sadly, about half way through their 125-year history, the Salvation Army and Universal Christian Church gradually quit the practice of all army members attending a service from the stage. For if they did, “there would no longer be anyone in the audience.” 2003 was likewise the last year for the church to track those converted in their annual report as the percentage had dropped to zero.
Others great charities for the poor include Catholic Charities (spending over 95% directly on programs- compare to average of 84%) and Asha for Education (India) - whose president is not paid at all. I also like the YMCA and often support them financially as well as by volunteering.
My favorite charities that serves the poorest of the poor locally:
Gospel Rescue Mission: www.grmtucson.com/
While other local charities spend more on overhead or have made poor investments, GRM has maintained a fairly steady path for helping the needy.
JobPath: (www.jobpath.net/)
Jobpath has a 99% success rate of doubling the incomes of the local poor (they received a half million dollar grant from the city a couple of years ago due to being well recognized for their success) focusing job training for the health care, construction, education, aviation, and bio-tech fields.
Tucson Jackson Employment Center is 75% (at the 6-month checkup) successful at getting the homeless full-time employment, spending mostly United Way monies, but is also funded by DOH, DOL, Tucson City, and various Homeless Assistance Grants. CASA (and CASA II) is a joint local program between the Jackson Employment Center, Travelers Aid Society, Salvation Army, and Open-Inn (www.openinn.org/tucson.htm) as a long-term transitional housing program for the homeless.
Others great local charities include Jobs for Life (focusing on character training), the Tucson Community Food Bank, and the Arizona Prison Ministry. I also regularly visit the homeless in parks with food, clothing, and advice.
What does your checkbook and calendar show about you? The Bible supports more than tithing... many biblical scholars believe that offerings, tithing, and other donations to the poor cost the average Jew half of their income (in a time when it was much harder to make a living). It’s been said that success is getting what you want while happiness is wanting what you get... but, joy is wanting half of what you get. To be happy for an hour, take a nap. To be happy for a day, go fishing. If you want to be happy for a year, win a lottery. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, constantly help others.
But, sincerity is never enough just as Jesus’ first temptation was to be relevant - making bread out of rocks for the hungry... we must instead follow audible holy instructions and not our own hearts. Fixing what makes us feel good or is easy according to our “gifts” (rather than lifting our cross) is like replacing the tire that isn’t flat... we still can’t get anywhere.

If what you wrote was in response to my post, Jim,

Tearfund DO NOT just 'provide people with
fish'they also do longer term work.
I think there is a place for Christians to give to relief and diaster response though. . . where ever someone is born into the world.
(How can you teach someone to fish if they aren't physically strong enough to hold the rod and cast the net because they are dying)?
How can we just let other people die because we don't agree with everything their government does?
There is also a place for work of changing structures as well, yes.

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