As we approach the year-end season, we are giving thanks for everyone who partners with us at World Relief — people like Marie Holst, a member of our Changemakers community.
Marie has been partnering with World Relief for 36 years. Today, she shares why she loves being a member of the World Relief community and why she believes all of us are made for change.
How long have you been partnering with World Relief, and what first prompted you to make a gift?
I have been giving monthly to World Relief since 1984, which if my math skills serve me right, is 36 years. I had graduated from high school, found employment and began making a regular income. When I went off to college, I was looking for an organization worthy of donating a percentage of my income. I was impressed with World Relief because they spread God’s message of hope and love to the world through tangible life-giving means. World Relief does not just come in and preach to people. They clothe, feed and train them to have sustainable lives. Through that love, they can share the good news of Jesus.
By giving to World Relief, I felt that I was supporting the Great Commission when Jesus told his disciples to go and witness to people locally, regionally and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). I am not equipped to go as a missionary to the ends of the earth, but I can support those who do.
When you think about the impact your gifts have had, what are you most proud of?
To be honest, I’m most proud of how my gifts have had an impact on my own family. When I married my husband, Dave, I shared with him my views on giving. God loves a cheerful giver and blesses those who are faithful to Him in their charity (2 Corinthians 9:7). Now, with two children, we are able to be role models for them. Opening up our grip on finances and giving to God from the top of our income has an amazing way of freeing us from the unpleasantness of greed and worry. Our family is truly blessed in our attitudes regarding money.
Having said that, I am truly appreciative of World Relief and its efforts to change the world. I would not have continued giving to them for 36 years if they were not having a tangible impact all around the world today.
Why should someone consider partnering with World Relief today?
The world today is in such need. With natural disasters, poverty, famine, disease and war, the world needs relief and the good news of Jesus more than ever. World Relief takes a restorative approach to these issues, providing emergency resources when needed, but also taking long-term action to assist people to restore their lives. If you give a man a fish, he will be fed for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will be fed for a lifetime. World Relief understands this and is in the business of teaching people how to build sustainable lives and supporting them with the resources they need to do it.
How have you seen faith or the Church change hearts in your community?
I can’t deny the most obvious is the Church’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Across the board, I have seen fellow Christians stepping up to offer the hope that Jesus brings. Churches of all denominations have changed swiftly to be able to minister to people despite quarantines and social distancing. Many churches have implemented online services that will continue to reach people at home. I see God moving in this crisis to change His people, bring flexibility and expand the circle of people that He can reach.
There are a lot of people stepping up to support local organizations, such as food pantries. People are also jumping in and helping those in need, who may have lost their jobs due to COVID. I am amazed at how God’s people are stepping up to meet needs in these crazy times.
What does the phrase “we are made for change” mean to you?
I hear there are people who are invigorated by change. I personally prefer stability, things that are known and comfortable. However, I cannot stand injustice, poverty, hunger, hurting or lostness. These things break God’s heart, and so they break mine. If we are not the hands and feet of Christ on this earth, then who will be? The Church is the body of Christ. We are made to change the world for the better.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I just want you to know that World Relief did not prompt me or pay me to write any of this. I’m just an average person with an average life in the American Midwest and sharing my heart with you.
Join Marie and thousands of others like her in creating change that lasts by giving to World Relief. Your gift today ensures a better tomorrow for millions of people in the U.S. and across the globe.
Karyn Bryant has worked with donors and philanthropists to put love into action for causes they feel passionate about. She joined World Relief’s strategic partnership team in January 2020. When not working, you might find her cooking, floating on a river or spending time with her husband and two young children where they reside just outside Sacramento, California.