Sunday, January 17, 2016


Should We Ask For Donations?

I should begin this post by explaining that my opinions concerning asking for financial assistance with the work we do in Kenya has radically been altered over the past three years. This short message is for anyone wondering whether or not to financially help ‘missionaries’ with their work. I have put missionaries in quotes, because unfortunately not all missionaries are what they seem. Before you emotionally give to any request for funds … check them out. Enough said. 

Before we pulled up stakes and moved to Nakuru Kenya to live in the slums, I had some rather naive views of missionaries asking for financial help. Here are some of those very narrow thoughts…

Why can’t those sent out by God just depend on Him and not beg people for help? Why are they constantly asking for monetary assistance from those back home? Doesn’t God provide where He guides? Does every other correspondence have to include pictures of needy or dying children? 

Now to some of you, especially my missionary friends, that might seem pretty gross … and it is, but it is what I wondered and to my shame, sometimes even verbalised. When our Father sent my wife and I to Africa, we so desired (and still desire) to go in real faith and depend entirely on Him. We so wanted our work to glorify Him and not just be viewed as humanitarian efforts. 

Not that there is anything wrong with humanitarian efforts, they help many deserving poor here in Kenya and throughout the world. Its just that we wanted our work be seen as primarily being about His Kingdom, His work, and His provision. I think the patriarch Abraham felt that same way, because he was very passionate about our Father’s honour. 

After Abraham fought and rescued people from their captors he was offered a reward. He refused their offer and in so doing, revealed his single mindedness concerning the glory of God. Scriptures like this one made me jealous for God’s glory… 

“But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, “I have made Abram rich’—“               
(Gen. 14:22,23)

And yet, upon more closely examining the scriptures and the lives of the missionaries I admired, it was clear that most of the time God used His people to supply the needs of His workers and they let other people know what they were. See (1Tim. 5:17,18), (2 Cor. 11:9) etc. . 

The second reality check that changed those naive thoughts came when coming face to face with the incredible scope of the needs in third world people and especially those living in slums. Hundreds and thousands of needs, so vast, so dire, that it can completely overwhelm a western mind. 

Children die here for the lack of medicine costing the same price as a McDonalds happy meal. Widows with families are put out on the street for less than two trips to Starbucks. And yes… we know that we can cripple personal initiative by giving too much… but  for God’s sake (literally), … should we let people become homeless or even die for less than five dollars? 

Please understand… due to the corruption found in so much of the clergy here in Kenya, we don’t take one shilling from any of our churches or other ministries. We feel it important that Kenyans see we are not the ‘monetary benefactors’ of our ministries (see Luke 22: 24-27). That money goes back into the ministries. And yes, we know there are balancing scriptures that say a workman is worthy of his wages, don’t muzzle the ox as he threshes … etc., but the extent of leaders taking advantage of the flock in this area is enormous. As a result, all our support comes from God through family, friends and our Social Security checks. Sometimes if a personal need is beyond our ability to obtain, we will let other people know about it. Yet, it is important to us, that we know our Father is backing us up in whatever ministry we undertake. 

But… what should  we do when we see children with such immense potential, desperately wanting an education and the parent/s, having tried everything, still can’t afford it? Or abandoned mothers trying so hard to take care of her family’s needs with little or no hope of employment? And all the while, knowing there are people back home having both the will and means to alleviate such hardships? 

I will tell you what we’ve decided to do… we’re going to let those needs be known! 

Once I asked a dear Indian pastor friend of mine, what he felt about taking money from people who he knew were not being obedient to God. His ministry takes care of thousands of orphaned children and his reply was stingingly revealing. He said … I don’t care what those people do or don’t do… the blood of Jesus cleanses the money I receive … I need to take care of these children! I thought wow… perhaps that helps explain the second half of this proverb… “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children 's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous”. (Proverbs 13:22)  

Sometimes I’m not sure of the theology of such ideas, but I sure know and agree with the heart behind it. 

So beloved friends and family…  all that to say this… when we post a need on Facebook or put up a request for assistance through our website, blogs etc., know that it is with great trepidation that we do so. Should our Father move on your hearts to help us (or any true missionary) help His people or the lost and dying of this corrupt world… please do so. And remember… every cent you give to StoneHouse Ministries goes exactly where you designate it to go. 

May this New Year be the best you’ve ever had, and thank you so much for helping us... help them. 

Much love from the StoneHouse Family.


  1. David, I am so glad that you posted again. I left Facebook because I found myself getting so caught up in it that it was hurting me. I wondered why I had not heard from you in some time and frankly was getting a bit worried. Thanks for posting this so I could read it.

    I've retired from work and am moving to Tennessee! My sister in law, Becky, Cara's sister, has seen fit to buy five acres and a new home and asked us to move with her. Because we really have nowhere else to go and are pretty much broke we saw it as our loving Father providing for us. And what an abundance of provision. The house sits atop a mountain, looking towards the west where I can see the Smokies. It is quite beautiful there. And I have my own office with its own bathroom, how convenient for this old frail man! The land is cleared and surrounded by forests. We hope to learn how to plant and live off the land some. I will continue to produce music for my customers around the world. And I'm writing a lot. It keeps my hands moving and from getting stiff. My health finally turned around and I am feeling better and better. The neuropathy pains are all but gone and for the first time in nearly 25 years I walk no longer with a cane or limp! Praise God for great miracles.

    Forgive me for sharing all these wonderful things that have happened in recent months. In reading this post I was moved so much by your heart. I have nothing. I live on a Social Security check that isn't much. But it pays for the food and electric bill! If God ever does release me to help financially I've always wanted to send you something. I may start doing that just because I know a little can go further there than here... and frankly I would love to support your ministry. Mainly because I do BELIEVE YOU! I know you are not one of those who use the needs of others for your personal gain. Please KEEP POSTING and making sure I'm on your list. I will be changing that information soon, but I have saved your emails and this posting too so I will know how to get in touch with you once we are fully moved and settled into our new home.

    David, please believe me when I say, I love you and I always will! You were truly my very first spiritual mentor and I continue to live by so many of things you shared with me, both in word and your life. Thank you my dear friend and brother. Now may God FILL your hands to overflowing giving you all more than you need so that you have plenty for others!

    Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus!
    Steve Scheffler

  2. I recently met with the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries at his invitation. He gave me what I consider to be great advice.

    There are three ways to fund ministry. (1) The George Muller way, (2) the CH Spurgeon way and (3) the Hudson Taylor way.

    For years I thought the George Muller way was the only way. Simply pray and ask God to provide. And He did! However, I was deceiving myself in thinking that it was prayer alone that brought the needed funds. Even George Muller would parade his orphans in a straight line from the orphanage to the church and back -- he might not be asking, but he was certainly letting the need be known. This method is the passive way of fund raising.

    CH Spurgeon, on the other hand, said he was a "greedy man for the Kingdom." Spurgeon would stand in the pulpit and say things like, "You are going to waste your money on frivolities. You should rather put that money into building the Kingdom and gain something?" This would be the aggressive way of fund raising.

    Hudson Taylor would present the ministry by sharing stories of what God was doing and then he would give everyone in attendance a reply card. He would instruct people to take the cards home and pray about what their role should be in the ministry. Kind of a passive-aggressive method.

    The point is that all three shared the needs that they saw and gave people an opportunity to actually get involved in helping to meet those needs. And that is what you are doing when you share needs -- you, because of where God has positioned you, are giving people an opportunity to do something very godly.