Why Did We Stop?

Beloved,

As many of you know we have ended our relationship with the House of Love orphanage in India and will cease all support at the end of February.  If, like my family, you supported one of the children there then you have received a letter already.  However, most of our church didn't get all the details and because we practice full disclosure I wanted to share the why behind our decision so there is clarity from one of the six people in the room when the decision was made.  Also, there is a push going on for year end gifts to this need and I wanted to speak to this as well. 

First, this decision was made by the elders of Grand Parkway after prayerful consideration, an in depth analysis of the facts and a boots on the ground report from a local we sent to investigate the House of Love.  The decision was not made by Don Minton, our Spiritual Formation Pastor, but by the elders.  As the one over missions Don was a part of the dialogue but the decision came from the elders, so if you have any questions please come to us as we welcome dialogue.

Second, we found that money is being mis-appropriated by Beek, the leader of the House of Love and financial integrity is a non-negotiable for any of our missional relationships.  By "misappropriated" I mean we were sending money for food and it was being used for different things and then he would turn around and ask for more money. Some of the orphans have run away from the orphanage to search for food.  So if we are sending more than enough money for food each month, then why are kids having to leave in search of food?  Again, this is called misappropriation.  

Third, we have been telling Beek from the begining to work towards self-sustainability and for seven years he has only asked for more money and not established anything on his end.  Yes, it's tempting to keep giving—but to what and for how long?  Healthy relationships are governed by principle instead of sentiment.  When we take responsibility for people we are only empowering them to continue acting irresponsibly. 

Fourth, we can no longer even get to India to check on the orphanage or the kids.  Not only that but we cannot get money wired to Beek and have been using back channels to get funds to him for a while.  This makes it a non-verifiable relationship which falls outside the established guidelines for our mission partnerships.  We do not and will not send money to places where we cannot verify where, how and why it is being used.  Yes, sending money to orphans feels good, but in this case it is bad stewardship.

Fifth, I was asked if we would consider a year end gift towards some land they want to purchase and the answer is, no.  The land they want to purchase is to plant a garden which sounds great but when you plant a food source in the midst of a starving people you are only inviting violence and theft.  If you do get a garden established you have to then fence it and then hire a security guard to protect the resource which is why we do not see this as a sustainable concept.  I don't disparage anyone or any church that wants to give towards this. I am only providing an explanation for why we are not.  

Lastly, I've seen support letters that have gone out lamenting how "their biggest supporting church has stopped supporting The House of Love" and they go on to ask for donations.  For the record, that is us and we were not only their largest financial supporter but their only one.  All other churches have ended their monthly support of Beek and his efforts there.  Beloved, anytime you are the only one doing something you are either a ground breaking pioneer or your are blinded by sentiment.  

Again, I am writing to explain in detail why we ended this relationship.  What you choose to do is between you and God.  However, I cannot in good conscience commend the House of Love to you as a source for your financial support.  Please join me in continuing to pray for Beek as well as the children that remain at the House of Love.  As you know, my door is always open if you want to stop by to visit about this or anything else stirring in you.  

Towards clarity,

Neil