The Dwell Disaster Relief Fund enables the church to respond to natural or human-caused disasters in a coordinated and generous way. This allows us to demonstrate, tangibly, the love of Christ for those in need.
Generosity is rooted deeply in biblical priorities for God’s people. New Testament teaching on financial giving demonstrates Christian unity across ethnic lines (Galatians 2:9,10), the expression of gratitude for God’s material blessing (2 Corinthians 9:8,9), a witness to non-Christians who benefit from the generosity (2 Corinthians 9:12,13), and demonstrates the principle of material equality (2 Corinthians 8:13-15).
When a disaster occurs, the elders will open the fund to donors and set an appropriate financial target. We will base the target on:
- Range of needs. During disasters, the range of needs of the people in affected regions is often overwhelming, widespread, and complex. Relief, by definition, is a short-term approach that aims to alleviate the most basic and urgent needs, such as food and shelter. In order to achieve true recovery short-term relief must be followed by longer-term development strategies. This is why we will consider relief strategies that aim to meet concrete and urgent needs in a term-limited and targeted way, based on a particular proposal of how these needs will be met.
- The extent of relief available. The U.S. and the developed world have enormous resources to meet emergency needs. Therefore, it is rare to see the kind of widespread famine, homelessness, and disease that too often accompanies disasters in the developing world. While we can and should respond to disasters here at home by a combination of financial generosity and sending teams to help, the priority for larger financial targets will be to the developing world.
- Identifying reliable partners who can effectively steward financial gifts. In addition to our Global Partners, we have worked with several excellent Christian relief and development ministries. These Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) practice open accounting and have experts who coordinate relief and development in the name of Christ and on behalf of His church. Our Global Partners are our first funding priority, then NGOs, and finally, we will consider other organizations.
People at Dwell often give more than the goals we have set for giving to a particular disaster. Therefore, we will keep any donations beyond the target amount in the Disaster Relief Fund as seed money for future crises.
If you would like to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund, visit our giving page.