Gifts the Magnify Christ
By Rick Jett, IDES Executive Director
When I put my glasses on I can see things more clearly. Lately I have found that a magnifying glass is also very helpful in reading fine print. In order for us to really see the fine print of the Gospel, we need to enlarge the image. Just as the magnifying glass enlarges images for us to see, the Holy Spirit brings into focus the truth of God’s love through followers of Christ. It is our responsibility during the holiday season (and for that matter, all year long) to magnify the image of Christ, to help people see Him more clearly and know Him better. That’s what Paul desired when he encouraged the church in Philippi by writing, “...now as always Christ will be exalted in my body...For me to live is Christ...” (Phil. 1:20, 21). The word “exalt” may be translated “magnify.” When we live for Christ, we exalt and magnify Him, reflecting His image to the world around us. Believers should be like telescopes bringing Jesus Christ close to people. Your gift of a bag of rice will help a hungry child see the Bread of Life. Financing a well for a thirsty village will reveal the Spring of Living Water. The person who receives a Bible will read about the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. Each gift in this catalog is a simple, yet significant way to demonstrate God’s love and grace to others. As each of these gifts is given in the name of Christ, He is magnified in the eyes of the recipients. You can help IDES bring God’s love into focus by giving a gift that magnifies Christ!
Head over to our Annual Gift Catalog under the "Resources" tab to learn more about this year's giving opportunities.
What Are the Advantages of Giving a Hurricane Relief Gift Through IDES?
IDES occasionally receives phone calls from people who want to know which churches we are partnering with in a disaster zone. They want to help, but wonder if it might be better to send their gift directly to an area church rather than through IDES.
As we assure them of the advantages to giving a gift through IDES, we often discover their desire to give directly to a local church was based on one or more false assumptions.
False Assumption #1: That way 100% of my gift will be used for disaster relief efforts, not IDES’ overhead expenses.
The Facts: Anytime IDES receives a designated gift, 100% of the donation is used for the purpose indicated by the donor. Whether the designation is specific (“Hurricane Florence relief in North Carolina”), or general (“Disaster”), 100% of your gift will always be used according to your designation. That is true whether the designated gift comes from an individual, a church, a class, or a business.
False Assumption #2: It is easier & quicker for the affected churches if I just send my gift directly.
The Facts: Gift processing places a significant burden on churches whose time and energies are already stretched thin by the demands of responding to a disaster. IDES staff members are skilled at quickly and efficiently processing gifts of all sizes, and getting those funds quickly into the hands of churches who are responding to a disaster. Additionally, IDES is a 501(c)(3) organization, and we promptly provide a printed receipt for all gifts received. This means that gifts from individuals and businesses can be claimed as tax-deductible contributions by donors who are able to itemize their deductions. It is much easier for a church to process one gift from IDES than hundreds of gifts from separate donors.
False Assumption #3: IDES’ involvement doesn’t really offer any extra value to churches in the disaster area.
The Facts: Efficient gift processing is just one of many benefits IDES brings to churches in disaster affected communities. IDES also brings the following benefits to partner churches:
How IDES Responds to U.S. Disaster
September 27, 2018
Hurricane Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. on Friday, September 14, 2018. Over the course of three days, the category one hurricane dumped nearly 18 trillion gallons of water onto the east coast. The estimated damage from the storm could range anywhere from $38 billion to $50 billion, not to mention the loss of 36 irreplaceable lives.
IDES’s response to hurricanes is very strategic. Before the event even occurs, we establish connections with local churches in the areas most likely to be affected. Once the storm passes and the damage has been assessed, IDES deploys our U.S. Disaster coordinators along with supplies (sheds, care kits, shower trailers, tools, etc.).
IDES U.S. Disaster coordinators are an essential part of our approach to disaster response. Not only do these team members provide expertise in the area of relief but they also help churches create a game plan for clean-up, volunteer management, and donation allocation. Once on site, our U.S. Disaster coordinators begin working in partnership with the churches to help them mobilize their communities and share the hope of Jesus Christ.
Meanwhile, back at our headquarters, our staff stays busy organizing volunteers and receiving monetary donations to be used at the disaster site.
Individuals who call IDES looking to go to the disaster site are put on a list and contacted once the churches we’ve partnered with are secure enough in their own capacity to begin accepting volunteers. We prefer that volunteers have gone through an IDES disaster response training before being deployed. You can learn more about that in the “Get Involved” tab of our website.
For those share monetary donations with us, we always like to emphasize that 100% of any designated gift goes towards the project costs (no operation percentage is removed).
Whether individuals are called to go, give, or pray, IDES is blessed to be able to connect those willing to serve with those who need serving.
WHAT IDES IS DOING NOW
IDES U.S. Disaster coordinators are currently deployed at Two Rivers Church in New Bern, North Carolina and are coordinating with churches in the Wilmington and Jacksonville areas.
Volunteers will be needed at these locations. If you would like to get involved with our Hurricane Florence relief efforts connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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