“He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.” Proverbs 22:10
The Benevolence Ministry provides exclusive assistance to the poor and to those in need of food, clothing, shelter, and emergency financial assistance. First, it is necessary to qualify what we mean by the term “the poor.” Poor is anyone who has a serious emergency need with no visible or viable means of immediate resolution. A lost job, depending on how it was lost, a burned out home, and in some cases, but not all, a pending eviction, may all qualify as poor and in need depending upon what the background information may suggest. This fund has by no means been established as a gratuity, giveaway, or gold mine; to fund or assist in the development of social and economic dependency, cigarette or drug habits, poor financial management; or as an intended target for the guile and deceit of the slothful sluggard. Rather it will cater to any legitimate need which can be determined as such as outlined by the Word of God and sound judgment. In addition to emergency financial assistance, the Benevolence Committee maintains a food and clothing bank for the express purpose of meeting the needs of the poor.
The Benevolence Committee is made up of persons of good report and wisdom and filled with the Holy Spirit, who meet on a regular basis to ensure both the promotion and protection of all benevolent causes authorized by the Tree of Life Christian Ministries. Three of the committee members act as the investigative arm, collecting as much pertinent background information as possible to either corroborate or dispute requests for assistance from this fund. Once all information is gathered, it is compared with the initial interview of the person in need for accuracy and truthfulness. Only after all questions and doubts, if any, are satisfied, a decision is then made by way of a majority vote as to whether a need, (financial, food, clothing, emergency shelter) will be satisfied. Funds are not given directly to those in need, but are paid to the billing party. For example, should someone come in need of help with rent, after investigation and approval by the committee, a check for the exact amount is written to the landlord and delivered by a member of the committee.
As there are unfortunately many who would come in disguise and abuse this cause, all who draw on this fund are made to understand that as much as this fund is intended to be a blessing, it is as much a curse to all who take unjust advantage of it and the church.