Monday, July 26, 2010

Fishes & Loaves with

Last Christmas the church staff did not give each other white elephant gifts. Instead, the money that we would have spent on buying knick-knacks for each other was pooled for a total of $450. We then went online at the Christmas party to which is an organization that makes micro-loans (loans of $1,000 or less per person) to people in third-world countries. These individuals have been screened by a local organization to determine the worthiness of what the individual plans to use money for - usually to fund a small business whose profits will repay the loan, provide income for the person's family and reinvest funds back into their business. The default rate on these loans is less than 2% which is far less than loan defaults in the US. At the party we selected some individuals to receive our gifts and sent the money on its way.

Periodically I get an email from informing me of the status of our loans: the person is now fully funded, the person has begun repaying the loan, or the person has completely repaid the loan. In the seven months that we've had money with, all of the money that we originally loaned has been repaid and we've loaned others some money. In the past seven months we've had money paid back to us which we then loaned to others so that we have now loaned a total of $875 - yes, that is a "fishes and loaves" story.

This is a neat way to appeal to younger generations to get them involved in specific generosity events. They can actually see a picture of a lady in Ghana or Paraguay who received the money and track how she is using it and repaying it. is not a church or religiously affiliated organization, but they are changing lives around the world. BTW, all of the recipients of our church staffs' money have some form of religious connection in either their name or in their bio - this is our small way of helping Christians around the world.

Lead On!

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