Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Unsolicited Emails Asking for Help

Today we had to make a hard decision here at The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada. We decided that we could no longer spend the time responding to unsolicited emails from those who claim to be refugee claimants or ministries in the developing world seeking financial support or other partnership possibilities.

Over the past several years, we have received literally hundreds (if not thousands) of such emails and have found that almost all of them are either false or impossible to verify. Our financial accountability standards also forbid us from even considering requests for financial support from those whom we do not know apart from an unsolicited email. We also do not have the staffing necessary to consider assisting with unsolicited refugee claims. And, to be honest, having to deal with these kinds of emails, however gently, takes time and time is something we have only a limited amount of in this life (as I am increasingly aware of).

We know that there are many needs and many worthwhile causes in the world of which we are unaware. Some of these emails could conceivably contain one. That's the tough part but it is the risk we have to take. Besides, we cannot possibly address every need, regardless of how hard we try to be faithful to the Lord's call on our ministry. We are grateful that since our inception in 1971, The Voice of the Martyrs has been successful in establishing a growing network of co-workers throughout the world whom we have learned to trust and who provide us with more than enough opportunities to serve legitimate needs of persecuted Christians around the world. We ask for your prayers and understanding as we try to be faithful to the Lord in this task.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Sounds like it was a tough decision. Though now you can rejoice that you have more time to work with the people you know are legitimately in need.


Glenn Penner said...

Definitely not an easy one but I am not terribly worried that we will miss a real need. Most true refugee claimants, for example, don't have the money to surf the net and send out emails to all sorts of ministries like ours. As for ministries, I have a hard time believing that truely legitimate ones would expect us to give to them based solely on an email that they send to us out of the blue