“No” is a difficult word to say in a lot of situations but it is even more difficult as a missionary in an impoverished nation. And yet, if we did not master the ability to say “No” we would soon be without funds to function here and would need to return home.
We are bombarded on an almost daily basis with requests for assistance from Pastors, Teachers, neighbors and other Tanzanians. What makes it even more difficult is that most of the requests we get for financial help are valid and real.
Today is Wednesday and just since Monday we have had these requests:
- Pastor M needs a new tire for his motorcycle so he can visit his church plants in the villages: $40 for the new tire
- A crippled Christian neighbor has finally been able to purchase a special motorized vehicle that he has been saving for and the owner has allowed him to take it even though he still owes some money: $350 is owed and 1/2 must be paid this week or they will repossess it.
- A worker needs to pay school fees for his child and he already owes us for another loan which exceeds $100: he needs $30
- Another worker wants to put windows in the small home he has with screen to protect from mosquitoes: $80 for frames and screens only – no glass
- A number of street children ask for money when we go into town. Several blind people also tap on the window with hands extended for help.
In all of the above situations we have helped each of the people mentioned on more than one occasion; but we cannot help them every time. When the Bible School starts we will be given a list of those who cannot pay their school fees.
When to give and when not to give; always a difficult decision to make and one we don’t make lightly but prayerfully.