This is a hard one to write.
You may remember hat last year, I led a fundraising campaign for Amina and her family, Syrians living in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Amina was, like many others, part of a program through the non-profit Humanwire. I loved the idea of Humanwire because it matched me (the sponsor) up with Amina (the recipient) and allowed me to raise money through a donation campaign to help support Amina. The best part was that I could video chat with her and I got photos every time a delivery was made to her for the funds we raised.
In October, Humanwire was shut down and the CEO arrested on claims of fraud. Allegedly, he was skimming money that was supposed to go to refugees and putting it in his own pocket.
Needless to say, I am just sick about the entire situation. I am sick for Amina and all of the other refugees who put their trust in this organization and were betrayed. I am sick for everyone to donated to our campaign for Amina and now may regret doing so. I am sick that someone who seemingly cared so much and had such a wonderful idea would (allegedly) be so greedy. I am sick that I trusted this organization (which I promise I extensively researched!) and, in turn, others trusted me.
All that said, there are two things I know.
1. That our money made a difference to Amina and her family. Everything we ordered for Amina–from mattresses to clothes to the washing machine to the tv to the sheep–were absolutely all delivered and her family still has them. I confirmed this within the last two weeks. Praise God.
Can I know for sure every dollar donated to Amina got to her, no. But I can guarantee you the vast majority did because I filled out the order forms and was anal about prices and confirming deliveries.
2. That sometimes, all we can do is give and trust that God will be faithful with our good intention.
I used to struggle with this more. Every time I would see someone begging for money, I would question if they really needed it or if it was a scam. Would they buy drugs or food? And then, I decided that I would give with the faith that God would take care of my good intention. That somehow, he would use my gift to bless, even if perhaps not in a way I understand or can see.
I am choosing to trust in this situation that God used everyone’s gifts, your generosity, your money, your prayers, to help Amina and her family. And although today things do not look like we had hoped, I trust that we made a difference.
And I pray that this does not discourage us from giving again in the future. I pray that our hearts will remain open and that we will seek to help those for whom God’s heart is breaking.
Likewise, I pray and believe that her family knows that there are people in America who did what we could to help them, despite never having met them.
In closing, I am reminded of Genesis 50:20, the words of Joseph, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” May He use us and our gifts for good for Amina and her family.