Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kiva - No Small Thing

Those of us at the Leadership Summit last week had the privilege of hearing Jessica Jackley share an incredible and inspiring story. When Jessica learned that Jesus said, "What you do for the least of these, you do for me", she took it seriously.

Five years ago, she quit her job and went to Africa to learn about micro-finance. The result is Kiva, which has raised over $61 million in just three years - all going to assist entrepenuers in the developing world. Investors with as little as $25 are able to connect with across the globe, giving sacrifically in order to change lives all around the world.

On a personal note, my family has been involved with Kiva since last year. As we gathered at Thanksgiving, my mom gave everyone in the family a $20 bill and a mission: "Use this to help somebody else - and report back at Christmas." The Brawley family pooled some of our funds together and created a $50 loan to a group of mothers in Bolivia who are creating small retail businesses to provide a better life for their children. That loan has already been repaid, and our $50 has been re-invested into two businesses in the Dominican Republic.

Kiva is a way for anyone with internet access to invest as little as $25 to better the lives of people who have far less access to financial stability than any of us here. Brian often says that even the poorest American is considered rich in the eyes of the developing world - and it's true. One look at some of the photos of these hard-working entrepenuers in third-world countries show that although our resources are different, we are the same in our desire to work hard and provide a better life for our families.

Several folks who were at the Leadership Summit have already set up Kiva accounts and started a new journey of giving. In fact, we've created a 'Powhatan Community Church' lending team that will allow us to track how we, as a small community of believers, are able to pool our resources to assist those in other countries. Through our lending team, it's possible to focus our giving on one group, country or region.

Please take the time to investigate Kiva and consider participating. Seriously - what we do for the least of these, we do for Jesus.

And that's no small thing.

To learn more about Kiva, click here.
To see the Powhatan Community Church lending team, click here.
To create a Kiva account, click here.
For overview notes on Jessica Jackley's Summit presentation, click here.

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