The Beliefs & Convictions Of Thirsty Ground International
An organization is no more than the people God has called together to operate within it, and it is the beliefs and convictions of those people God has brought together that comprise the organizations position on certain matters.
We are a non-denominational group of reformed, baptistic, evangelical believers that take the Bible as the inspired and infallible final authority for life, doctrine and practice – including compassion ministries.
It is because of what Jesus Christ has done for us that we desire to love and serve others in disaster-stricken areas where people are in greatest need.
We believe that the greatest need in our generation – and any generation – is salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, which message is advanced through both proclamation and works of compassion towards our fellow man.
However, we do not in any way diminish the significant material and social needs of our world either, and seek to make a difference in every area of people’s lives.
We believe this is the call for the Church to answer in our generation, and we aim to do our small part in answering it.
The Involvement And Oversight Of The Local Church
We firmly believe that the ministry of the Gospel and works of mercy should flow from, and be overseen by, the local church. While we are thankful for what God has accomplished through para-church organizations that do not have direct oversight from a church or body of elders, we believe it is both wise and Biblical to follow the pattern in the New Testament of ministry being done by, with and through the local church.
For this reason Thirsty Ground International, though it exists as a independently state-recognized charitable organization, is under the direct oversight of a local church, Sovereign Grace Community Church and has on its board of directors several elders from this church and a sister church as well.
Our aim through this relationship is to keep the organization accountable and the mission on focus to what matters to God, and avoid the pitfalls that a para-church organization can readily fall into without this safeguard of oversight.
Working With Other Ministries
In the midst of a disaster, no one organization or ministry can handle it all. Not even the UN can mount a disaster response in every case that is able to address all the needs of a distressed population without help from cooperating private NGOs and local organizations.
We fully acknowledge this and seek to work together with those on the field as we are able to, and as the other ministries are willing to, without compromising our core values and organizational mission. Every organization brings some unique value to a disaster response, and working together can enhance the support to disaster victims significantly.
When partnering with other responding ministries that are specifically faith-based, we would hold to the statement John Calvin made centuries ago: “In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, charity; in all things Jesus Christ!”
In cases where there are potential conflicts with the organizations’ values and mission, we would refer to the board of directors and overseeing church for guidance and counsel. However, with few exceptions our aim is to work alongside those we meet in the trenches, and seek the most efficient way to help those affected by disaster!
We are entirely staffed by volunteers. We find that this enables us to both maximize the use of donated funds to go directly towards meeting relief mission needs, and to staff people for missions who truly want to be there regardless of any financial incentive. Everybody is involved with some degree of personal sacrifice, purely out of a passion to reach the lost and serve the needy in disaster situations. We have no other motive to help than this.
Many of our volunteers have jobs or own businesses that allow them the freedom to be involved in extended relief work. Others use their own vacation time and savings to fund their trips into disaster areas. Some are independently supported by sending churches or private individuals to enable them to focus more fully on relief work, but this is handled entirely outside of Thirsty Ground International and is the responsibility of those volunteers to facilitate support directly with any person/group sponsoring them. We do not discourage that, but we also do not facilitate that via TGI resources in any way.
Having an all-volunteer staff does place limitations on us, but we believe that the freedom it gives our organization to dedicate 100% of funds towards needs on the field is worth the added burden.