Question:

I really would like to send some money to the starving kids in Africa. Is this biblical and do you think that 'Feed the Children' is a good place to send this money too? If you know of a more trusworthy one, please let me know

Answer:

"For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always" (Mark 14:7).

It is a Christian's duty to help the destitute when he has opportunity. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:9-10). The key, I believe, is in taking advantage of the opportunities that arise. It is easy to get distracted with reports of disasters on the other side of the world and miss the small, kind deeds we can do for the people right around us. Not that helping others in distant lands is wrong; it is very much a part of helping as well.

The problem with giving to an institution is that it distances you from the people you help. One of the advantages of helping someone in a time of need is that it gives you an opportunity to let the light of God shine through you. But when you put an institution between you and them, they only see the institution, or the money. They lose out on your personal care and concern. "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27). The word "visit" is very important. It means personally going to see that their needs are met. Sending money is not visiting.

If you can't make it over to Africa to lend a hand for a time, then I would suggest that you find someone you personally trust to carry what you want to send over for you. This is how Christians did it in the first century. "And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us -- providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men" (II Corinthians 8:18-21).

One of the questions which always arise when sending money is whether it actually reached someone in need. Again, institutions often fail here by keeping a portion of what you give to help finance their own operation. But when you give the money to someone you trust he can make sure all of it reaches people who need it, and better can tell you on his return about how the people benefited from your gift. If you don't know of anyone personally, I know of preachers who travel to Africa often.