Monday, April 21, 2008

The Christian Community Challenge #2: Operation Kiva

I’m really excited to have found out more about our Christian Community Challenge #2! Troy Powell (pastor, leader, and friend) challenged us in the message yesterday morning by reminding us how much God cares for the poor. There were so many great scriptures that he shared to make this point clearly, and it’s an undisputed fact as often as He mentions it in both the Old and New Testaments.

I’ve loved how CC has always made a difference in the local community, and Enoch works with a team monthly in serving at The Kitchen, which I think is huge. I can’t wait to start getting involved there…but the schedule just hasn’t worked out. Still, I’m glad that others are committed to filling that gap now.

Troy explained our Challenge #2 and the basis for it: The fact we have Economic Stimulus checks coming in the mail, how it’s a blessing to be living at a time that even our poor are richer than most people in the world, and different options we have in spending our check, including the option to tithe on that money. Then he had Lora come up front and explain the rest of the deal: for us at CC that choose to accept that challenge of tithing, to commit that money to sending it somewhere else! Some time ago, she gave a small loan of $25 of her personal money to an organization called Kiva (http://www.kiva.org/about ), which then facilitated the loan of that money to an individual that she selected from the web site that is starting up a business. Over history, their loans are paid back short time (less than a year), and there is less than a 1% default rate (we could learn from that here in the U.S.). When the loan we provide is paid back, we have the option of taking it back, or rolling it over for someone else to borrow to start up their business. The thought that our small church can impact the world is a real thing, and for several years to come! To think that our fund, given one time and allowed to roll over (and over, and over) for years to come is an amazing thought. Not only will it stimulate the economy by however we want to personally spend our 90% with God’s blessing, we will bless others by creating a REAL economic stimulus impact world wide. YAY!

So, as we receive our checks over the next few months, we can prayerfully choose to tithe it to the Kiva fund at church. I’m not sure who from church will administrate the decision of who we loan it too, but I trust whoever it is.

I’m really proud that Troy, Lora, and the other leaders at Christian Community came up with such a great idea! It would have been so easy for them to look at the needs of the church and say “let’s spend that HERE”, and by them looking beyond our churches physical needs they are setting an example for all of us in our personal spending as well. YAY!!

What a blessing they are to us, and we feel so fortunate to be able to get to be a part of this body of believers. Our lives are so rich because of them!