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APPROPRIATE! the adjective

Suitable for a particular person, condition, occasion, or place; fitting — so Oxfords tome of English words defines the adjective APPROPRIATE.
There is a statement that makes me cringe.  “Missionaries can use anything!”  Let me say missionaries (listen up) are guilty of fostering this bit of heresy.  We never say no to any donation afraid we will offend the donor.  Plus we become masters of making things do that which they were not intended to do, making it appear that we can use anything.  You may have heard me speak of used tea bags.  Skip to next paragraph if you have …  The names have been changed to protect the innocent and the idiots.  (Mom is going to say something – so here is my answer, “But mom, they really are idiots!  And no one on our list of donor would do this”).  Yes, I know of two cases, one family and the other dear friends.  Just one of those stories – Go to customs in Fiji to collect a donation.   They bring what looks like an old wooden nail keg, smells a little musty.  Can’t look in it until you pay the customs fees.  They assign a value if donor did not, so taxes are always interesting.  Take nail keg home.  Open.  Musty smell a little stronger and unusual hair like substance is all that is visible.  Start gently fingering through upper layer.  Looks like dirt under the hair.  Finally folded paper with staple around fine string and barely legible word on piece of paper says “Lipton”.  Someone who calls this couple friend, brother and sister in Christ sent their collected used tea bags because the missionary can get a second cup of tea out of that bag.  In the tropics, if it is damp it grows mold – the hairy kind of mold.  I like tea.  But not hairy tea!  APPROPRIATE – Donor buy two boxes of tea.  Send one to your missionary friend.  Use your tea bag twice/I guarantee I will.  Same expenditure and so much more joy!
Why, you ask, am I bringing up APPROPRIATE?  My family and friends are in the center of those 44 counties declared a disaster area in West Virginia.  There are about 20 families dealing with unexpected deaths.  Countless families dealing with loss of house, vehicles, businesses, crops, roads, the list goes on.  There will be an outpouring of aid.  I love West Virginia.  The people are strong and independent and they are already making sure the little old lady across the stream whose bridge has washed out is safe.  Every back hoe/bulldozer/trucks and gravel crushers are running well into the night.  But in the rush to send aid there will be people that send their grandmothers mink coat that has been in the closet since she died in 1985.   Please communicate with friends and family there and send what they NEED.  There will be many ministries that respond such as Samaritan’s Purse (  SP’s chaplains are already in White Sulfur Springs and their disaster relief surveyors are on the job, relief teams will come in this next week.   Marathon Ministries ( ), Rev. Phil Cooper is recovering from some health issues but has a staff that will be assisting in southern WV and VA areas.   There will be collections going on at many of the town centers/fire stations and churches.  Lookout Baptist Church ( is in the heart of this area and is a collection center.  Do your research.  Some organizations use tragedy to make money.  Money is an easy commodity to give and for the receiver to exchange for needed materials (good), but it can also go into a pocket (bad).  Find people and organizations with integrity.  If you have skills, diesel mechanic go help keep those machines running; carpenters, man will you ever  be needed for weeks to come.  But work with the locals, don’t overwhelm them with the initial response and then in two weeks just disappear.  Now you see why the word APPROPRIATE keeps coming up.  The need is great.  It will be great for an extended period of time.  Prayerfully respond in great and APPROPRIATE ways please or I might add you to the used tea bag story collection.
Father we pray.  Help us to help these friends and families in the heart of WV and in our hearts.  Some are grieving the loss of loved ones who tried their best to escape but could not.  I think of the police office that tried to get to some only to have them snatched from him in the dark.  Only You can comfort that man.  Loss of home, those irreplaceable photos and things of remembrance that are gone will bring tears to many mothers and daughters, the men too.  Long Looong hours of working to clean up, machines to shovel away the debris and to repair roads help keep these tired backs and minds safe Father.  Let those of us close help with time, skill and materials… those of us from a distance let us help with finances in appropriate ways.  For those that use this time to steal, remove them LORD.  In Jesus name we ask this Amen and Amen.
in Christ,
Dennis and Cindy McCutcheon
2 Comments leave one →
  1. 27/06/2016 22:00

    EnAct Community Action is a West Virginia Community Action Agency designated by the Governor to offer a wide variety services to the low income residents of Clay, Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, and Putnam Counties. I know Kanawha was severely effected by the flooding… This is a local group helping locals. Brent Pauley and I were best friends in highschool. He is running this local group. Might be a good place to give for the current needs. God bless WV.


  2. 28/06/2016 08:53

    This is a comment from a dear friend here in Guatemala Dick Rutgers, who ‘gets it’.
    “Thanks for a great post. By the way I have several boxes of half used motel size bars of soap that I will bring you on my next visit. I know that you don’t do clothing items but I also have about 100 like new size 12 left shoes that I will bring. They are water proof and low top so I am sure that they can be used as kids bed pans.😃”
    Thanks Dick, the ‘repurposing’ as kids bed pans – we will try to remember!
    Dennis and Cindy


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