Monday, April 07, 2008

Sorry, it's against Policy

This post is somewhat difficult for me as I am not sure which "side" I come down on - if that's even the right phraseology.

My church has several congregations that meet within the 25,000 square feet of space. These people have become friends and family and I'm so grateful to know them and share space with them. One of the congregations is Christian Missionary Alliance Vietnamese congregation. Yesterday they had a missionary speak to all of us in a great combined service.

This missionary ministers in Cambodia - to Vietnamese people immigrating to Cambodia. Now, if you had the chance to immigrate...would Cambodia be your first choice? Anyway - there's reasons, he said, that the Vietnamese come to Cambodia, although they are poorer than the Cambodians and have virtually no "rights" or freedoms as they are too poor to own property. This particular missionary started a ministry to the Vietnamese and started churches and a school.

Like any good missionary he told stories. These stories were both sad and great testimony to the Lord's good work. One such story was about a young girl who had attended this missionary school. She was about 13 and her father was ill and back in Vietnam. In order to pay for his care, the family needed to raise $400 US dollars. The mother of this young girl was faced with selling her daughter into prostitution to pay for their father's medical care. The mother visited the school in order to ask for the $400.00 and was turned away.

The school has a "policy" against loaning money to its students or their families. So...the mother sold her daughter into prostitution for $400.00. Several years later, the girl, now more of a woman - met the missionary and his family again. She was truly changed. She was no longer an innocent young girl.

I wanted to run, screaming from the building. I was furious that a stupid $400 stood in the way of this young girl's promise and potential. I understand...truly I do..the need to have "rules" and "policies" and blah blah blah. But for GOD'S SAKE...there was nothing you could do for her? Have you ever heard of Microlending? Nobody you could call? I wanted to shake this servant of God and ask him if this policy was working for him.

I want to understand the reason that a Godly organization would have said to this young girl's family "our policy overrides our ability to help you." I wonder how that conversation went. I guess I don't "get" ministry all that well. Maybe I shouldn't get involved in stuff I don't understand...but I can tell you-I would have begged, stolen and borrowed the money to help Ivy. I am sad I didn't get the chance and hope, in Jesus name, they change their policy.

Screw that...I know EXACTLY what side I come down on.


Melissa B. said...

That is absolutely heart breaking. I don't know how to respond without getting completely pissed off or sick to my stomach.

Red Letter girl said...

I miss you Bee...hope you're having fun!

holly said...

Policies should never over rule common sense. Not quite as serious, but this comes into play everyday at my work, and I'm sick of it. Your story is an example of this taken to the extreme stupidity.

mad magaw said...

How can anyone expect people to contribute to an organization who would turn people away like that. Instead, the dollars given go to missionary salaries, administration, publications, travel expenses, etc. None of these things do any good when at the pearly gate Jesus says, I was sick and you turned me away!!

Confused Mark said...

Somehow I missed the part where he said - they were approached and said no. I kept thinking to myself - tell the story differently - say we bought her and set her free to be loved by God and get her education and care for her. or that..We paid the bill so they would not be faced with this horrible decision...anything like this. I was so confused by the story - and if they had acted differently- and said there are more girls just like this and we need money to "purchase" them away from child sex slavery. Might have gotten a bigger offerring?
I am with you - beg, borrow, steal get the money - help the family pay the bill. Take her in - love her - change her future. Quit the sad hugging and crying- and usher the kingdom in where you can. Wonder how many kids we could "purchase" for the Kingdom? Naz churches around the globe gave over 80 million to missions this past year. Wonder how it was all spent?

TheologyMom said...

I heard him say this too and was shocked...I understand having a general "policy" because, like at Mo, we have a policy not to give out cash to people, etc...BUT, there are always ways around the "policy" your family back in the states and tell them you have an emergency situation, or whatever you have to do to save this girl. And deal with the ramifications of the line-up at the door of the church later. Meet people at their need - I realize that the problem of child slavery may feel overwhelming in countries like Cambodia, but they had a chance to SAVE a girls life right there and decided not to. I don't get it...I wanted to ask him about it after, but I chickened out...

I also didn't love his explanation of the missionary's wife who died and the family needed prayer - I guess God in His soverignty killed her using a heart attack and the family is just left to question why? I just hate language like that - God gets blamed for a lot that I don't think He has anything to do with...

Diane said...

Oh man. That is so sad. I'm with Bee Diva - I instantly got a stomach ache reading about this. Heartbreaking. :(

About Me

I work at a Christian School district only 4 miles from my home. The people there are full of grace and love and I am glad to be a part of this ministry. I have a neice and nephew whom I love dearly. They are 12 and almost 15 respectively. I have two amazing sisters and two amazing brothers-in-law. Of course, I would not be here if it were not for my mother agreeing to marry my dad. Good going mom! My parents are my life and I would literally be NOTHING without their unconditional love, support and care. You rock mom and dad. Then there's Will & Lora...their giggles are like sunshine and their parents crack me up too.

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