numbered photos with no information

Which Photos to Send

Whoa! You are sending me far too many photos! Let me explain which photos to send me if you want me to care about your ministry enough to want to help you out.

We all seem to know instinctively, without a lot of statistics, that a photo can speak more than the proverbial 1000 words. If you want to convey something to others, and you have difficulty expressing yourself in written words, it is easy to conclude that if you send photos they will speak any language for you. Well, they do. In a way.

But... here's something I've learned from internet marketing and promotion that applies; a photo or image draws attention and arouses curiosity, yet, it will be words that persuade and convince people and motivate them to action. It is possible to hinder your goals by not understanding and using this ratio correctly in deciding which photos to send.

I get far more photos by email from far away ministries than speak to me effectively. In fact, sometimes they clog up my emails, so I can't receive email from business contacts. When I finally have time to look at these batches of 15-25 or more photos I have to decide whether to save them or delete them. What am I suppose to do with them?

I have compassion for orphans in need, but six photos of the same group of orphans, all sitting on the ground and eating meagre hands full of rice just don't inspire me any more. Particularly if you sent me the same batches last week, and three or four others sent theirs as well.

Which photos to send? You would be far wiser if you choose one, good, clear photo and then wrote a few lines telling me their story. What are their names? What has happened to them? What is their problem now? What would it take to solve their problem?

This applies to other aspects of your ministry too. Photos of crusade banners in a language I can't understand do not speak to me at all.

How shall you decide which photos to send me then?

Here are some suggestions for photos that would make me care more;

When I see workers and orphans (or other people that you minister to) relating together in love.

When I see signs or orderliness in how you do your ministry - with compassion and conscientiousness.

I look for signs that you are trustworthy with any funds sent to you.

I want to see that the good news of the Gospel of Christ has made a difference in someone's life, whether orphan or adult.

I also look for signs that you have found creative ways to work with what limited resources you have at hand, even if they are meager.

The more I see that your ministry is effective in getting the gospel out in an ethical manner, and that there are lasting results in people's lives, the more likely I will be prompted to send some money - when the Lord supplies.

carefully named photos - just a few

Which Photos to Send Out

I would ask or suggest that you;
1. Choose just your best two or three photos,
2. Rename the photos, so rather rather than the default camera-assigned numbers, you use a word or two in the filename that explains who or what is in the photo.
3. Write a paragraph or at least a sentence or two, besides, that tells me what is going on in the photo. Why is that important to you?
4. Tell me what God is doing there, and what would help Him.

But do not nag, or scold, or insist that I MUST send money right away. Or I MUST come for a visit. Leave my response up to God. If you have done your part to present your need, the Holy Spirit can use that to speak to me. If I don't have any money just now, or have already sent all I can spare to some other minstry - I do not need to be made to feel guilty. Besides, that kind of twisting pressure makes me wonder what kind of walk of trust You have with the Lord.

(Note on renaming photos: put hyphens (dash) between the words in the new name. If you have spaces between words the photos do not always show up well at my end.)

I am not rich. (At least not yet, I often pray that God might allow me more funds for giving). I have to earn money, and save it up so that I will have something to give. There are so many, many needy and worthy ministries, that I pray and wait for the Lord to speak to me, by the Holy Spirit, to show me where to send some, and how much. The more I try to send to at once, the smaller my gifts have to be.

Therefore, your begging insistently, and often sending batches of photos does not help! It hinders.

When I get to learn of your godly character, and if you tell me about one or two people you have helped and what a big difference Christ has made in their lives because of your ministry, then I am more likely to to pray, "Lord, I care about this ministry. Shall I send them a bit of help?"

I hear frequently from a dozen or more ministries, and I do not have time to pray for them all in great detail, nor to care, or to send funds to them all. The ones that flood me with lots of photos by email do NOT get special attention. Rather, that can lower their chances.

Ruth Marlene Friesen Your Hostess

Lessons in Giving