Monday, January 30, 2006

The Pedestal Topples

Bob and I had to make a very tough decision yesterday.  It is heartbreaking.  Some back-story

There is a ministry that Bob and I have supported since the start of our marriage.  It is a ministry that helps orphans in Kenya, Ukraine, Guatemala, Russia, and Haiti.  We have always thought that one day we would work with this ministry to adopt a child from one of those countries.  We liked the ministry, we felt linked to it.  We liked the founder/originator and staff of the ministry.  We sent money annually through the United Way fundraising campaign through my work and sent other funds as needed when we could.  We attended their parties, read their letters, cried over the many, many children who needed homes and longed to be parents to them.  We rejoiced in the stories of the children who found forever families and praised God for all He was doing to make the lives of orphans around the world better through the efforts of this ministry.

Sometime last year I received a correspondence from the founder of this ministry and noticed her last name was different.  I thought that odd, but was not really concerned since the name I used to know her under was quite lengthy and difficult to spell.  I thought maybe she changed it to her maiden name for ease and simplicity.  I logged onto the ministrys website in hopes of finding some info on the change and didnt find anything. After that, I basically forgot about it.  Until this week.

We received our year-end giving report from this ministry and once again, the different last name of the founder puzzled me.  At church yesterday, I was chatting with a friend and happened to mention this curious development.  My friend told me that the founder and her husband went to counseling for a family matter and the founder ended up divorcing her husband of many years and a month later married their counselor.  He is now no longer a counselor, but is the director of this ministry. 

Bob and I are heartbroken by this development for many reasons, many of which I cant share here.  We looked up to this woman and her (original) husband.  We enjoyed their company and admired their marriage and family.  We were proud to be a part of such a wonderful and growing ministry and looked forward to working with them in the future.  We wrestled with this all day yesterday.   We have money going to this ministry every month.  Bob wondered aloud if we should be donating to them any longer.  I was hesitant to pull our money out because of the children we have helped and could continue helping.  We decided we would each take 3 hours to pray and think on the matter.  We came back later and both agreed to put our money into another ministry that helps children and orphans.  The thing that swung us both in that direction is the fact that this counselor guy is now the director of this ministry.  Since we dont know him nor do we know of his business acumen, we are hesitant to give any more money.  If, in another year, we see that this ministry is still going strong, is growing, and still helping orphans, we may rethink our decision.  However, based on the details we know (much of which I have not shared here), we feel this is the best course of action.

When Bob first learned of all of this, his first reaction was anger and harsh judgment.  When I first heard, I felt as if the world had turned upside-down.  It made no sense at all in light of the woman I felt I knew.  I was so sad, sorry, and confused.  I still am.  I am dragging my feet in changing our contribution, though the ministry we are changing to, is very dependable and a strong presence in the community I wish this hadnt happened.  I wish things were different. 


Anonymous said...

I think this is a "no brainer" as I think you and I are on the same page re: moral issues etc. This ministry should have a board of some kind that gives accountability etc. I'd check into that. But if this is a ministry as you said, the head people need to be without reproach on all things of integrity~~marriage being one of them. If it were me that was in your shoes~I'd pull support without question!

Anonymous said...

Can understand your "hurt" at being disallusioned with this. People are never infallible however. I like to think it this way, that while you look at someone as perfect they are not just as you are not. While their lives may look great and they seem to have what you want they have hurts, disappointments etc. just as you do. It's hard to be hurt this way but is a learning experience (hopefully) not to trust in men, horses or...there's a 'saying' pretaining to this and I can't remember it but you probably get the drift. Blessings!