the weblog of Alan Knox

What is wrong with this picture?

Posted by on Nov 6, 2008 in blog links | 15 comments

According to Jonathan at “Missio Dei” in his post “Really Expensive Buildings“, Samaritan’s Purse has released a “catalog” listing how Americans can give to help people around the world. Here are some of the “items” in their “catalog”:

$100 – One Emergency Shelter

$750 – One Well

$7,500 – One House

$20,000 – One School

$25,000 – One Medical Hospital

$75,000 – One Church Building

So, if I give $75,000, people around the world could build 750 emergency shelters, 100 wells, 10 houses, almost 4 schools, 3 hospitals, or 1 church building. As Jonathan quotes, “What is wrong with this picture?”

I have to be honest… I’m hoping that no one donates a church building.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 11-6-2008

    Stuff like this just makes me laugh and shake my head. What in the world are they thinking?
    1 American church building vs 10 house church buildings????
    Maybe they were going to put their name on the cornerstone.

  2. 11-6-2008

    You know, Alan, I bet they don’t even get the irony of the price of that church building.

  3. 11-6-2008

    Between you and Lionel,
    please slow down. I am on information overload. 🙂
    Really though you both are hitting heavy on some issues. Keep it up.

  4. 11-6-2008

    american consumerism headed oversees

    look at what we could spend on here and what we spend on …

    in my town …

    $ 750,000 could get you stained glass windows for the sanctuary or it could provide housing and food for our entire homeless community for 5 years …

    we choose window …

    YEA US

  5. 11-6-2008

    I wanted to look into this further before making a judgment. I found that there are two “church building” options.

    1. Help Build a Church for Sudan’s Christians – 75,000$

    2. Help Build a Church for Suffering Christians – 15,000$

    Perhaps there is a logical explanation why it is so much more expensive in Sudan? Maybe it was just a typo?

    Anyways, I still hope that no one donates the money for a church building.

    God’s Glory,

  6. 11-6-2008

    Alan, this is shocking. I’ve tried looking through the pictures to see why a hospital is a third of the price and a school almost a fourth of the price of a church building. I’m not sure it even kind of makes sense. I get the notion of 10 house churches vs. 1 church building. But even if the people really felt like having a church building, isn’t there some way to make the cost go down? Significantly? It is crazy….

  7. 11-6-2008

    I am going to try to get a couple of shelters. I will add this to my budget somehow. I don’t agree with the enourmous amount of Church building but I have to find a way to help. I am going to stop reading blogs because there is so many needs (just kidding)

  8. 11-6-2008

    I think Samaritan’s purse does some great work but the church building thing is a little silly. My thought though is what’s the difference in that and American pastors asking church members to contribute half a million dollars to build a new “family life” center. I’d rather hang out with my Christian friends at the coffee shop and send my “building fund” commitment to a missionary or buy bibles.

  9. 11-6-2008

    The purpose of this post (and from what he says, the purpose of Jonathan’s post) was not to condemn Samaritan’s Purse. I agree that they do great work around the world.

    Thanks for the great comments, everyone, and thanks to those of you who looked into this further.


  10. 11-6-2008

    Hey Alan, Jonathan and I posted this about the same time (we discovered it in his house as we were dreaming about a different way to do Christmas as families), here were my thoughts: When a Building Becomes an Injustice

  11. 11-7-2008

    Brother Harold,

    Amen on every word you typed!

    Peace to you my like-minded brother,
    From the Middle East

  12. 11-7-2008

    Reminds me of the old Mastercard commercial. But the tagline in this should be: one church, $75,000…useless!

  13. 11-7-2008

    Wow – what could make the point any clearer?

  14. 11-7-2008

    Andy, that was funny.

  15. 11-7-2008


    I agree with the sentiments of the article and the comments, BUT, things are not always as simple as we would wish; there are some indigenous situations where a particulat religion is dominant and the only way Christians will be tolerated is if they have a public meeting place.