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, and we want to be responsive to meeting physical needs in the name of Christ. 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). Finally, we want to be generous to our brothers and sisters worldwide (Galatians 6:10).
Therefore, in the event of a disaster, the elders will review a proposed course of action and, if appropriate, they will establish a financial goal and open the disaster relief fund to donors. The following points guide our priorities and decision-making process.
- Supporting our Global Partners. Our priority is to support disaster relief efforts that impact our Global Partners. These are well-established ministries with a strong track record of meeting spiritual and physical needs in the name of Christ. For disasters where we do not have Global Partners, we will direct donors to other Christian relief and development organizations. We will not take donations through the Dwell disaster relief fund.
- The range of needs. During disasters, the people’s needs in affected regions are 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. We will consider relief strategies that meet concrete and pressing needs. To achieve true recovery, short-term relief efforts must be followed by a longer-term development strategy, which may require a significant investment from other sources.
- 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 it is appropriate to respond to disasters here at home by a combination of financial generosity and sending teams to help, we will prioritize people suffering from disasters in the developing world.
- Catastrophic disaster support. Some disasters are so immense that only large governments and multi-national non-government organizations (NGOs) have the resources to meet the needs. In these situations, some individuals may still desire to give to support the relief effort. The missions division will direct these individuals to organizations working in the affected area.
People at Dwell often give more than the goals we have set for giving to a particular disaster. Therefore, we will keep donations beyond the target amount in the Disaster Relief Fund as seed money for future crises.
To donate to the Disaster Relief Fund, visit our giving page.