My husband and I gave some money to a Christian orphanage in another country that sent us a very heartbreaking appeal in the mail. But now we've learned it's all a fraud, and the people behind it were just getting money for themselves. How could they do something like this?


I’m always saddened when I hear of situations like this – although they are rare. What happened was very wrong – and one reason is because it involved stealing from people who are in great need (in this case, destitute orphans). The Bible warns that God “will come near to you for judgment … who oppress the widows and the fatherless” (Malachi 3:5).

But I’m also saddened by situations like this because they make some doubt the work of organizations that are doing good work and are honest with their finances. This situation, after all, isn’t typical; the vast majority of churches and Christian ministries carry out their work faithfully and sacrificially. Organizations that bear the name of Christ ought to have the highest possible financial and ethical standards.

Years ago, we worked with others to establish an independent monitoring organization for Christian ministries (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). Member organizations follow high financial and fundraising standards, and many people look for their seal of membership before giving to a ministry.

Why do things like this happen? The reason is greed – and behind their greed is a heart that is hardened toward God and toward others. Put Christ first in your life and in your giving, “for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).