In this excerpt from a recent HOPE event, HOPE’s president and CEO, Peter Greer, demonstrates the urgency felt by those in poverty as they try to build a better future for their families. He also paints a picture of how Christ-centered microenterprise development can accelerate the process and make a difference by preparing people to work today.
Peter’s story of the woman saving $25 over five years for a $100 sewing machine …waiting …compels me to do three things:
1) fall on my knees and thank God that He has poured out so much favor of grace and financial capacity on me and my family
2) make a gift right now of $100..(I’ll see how to do this on-line), out of compassion and joy which are gifts of God.
3) ask Peter and his amazing team (including Erika Quaile) whether Hope has any meaningful means for me to participate directly in a savings group, or to make a 0-interest loan to a group. This may be ridiculously impractical and unworkable idea, since I wouldn’t be present in a place like Rwanda to attend the regular meetings which I imagine is critical to forging relationships, and I expect internet/skype access may be challenge. Nonetheless, I would like to explore ways to become more engaged, so I can share funds and life experiences with specific people who are otherwise in accountable relationships. My daughter Libby Hase had the privilege to witness first hand four of your savings/lending groups in Rwanda within the last month, and is still exclaiming their high merit! I expect you guys have thought through capital formation more than dozen different ways, and have the scars and victories to prove it. So I have more to learn than I have to offer at this juncture. Be pleased to join the journey with you.
To venture further, from a brief conversation with Erika, I understand that giving (rather than investing) is the preferred (and perhaps only) financial vehicle for folks like me to participate through Hope Intl, and I can understand why one would want avoid the regulatory and reporting complexities of registering securities and the like. Nonetheless, I’m looking for a Christ-honoring way to invest in a pool of funds that preserves capital and that loans funds to worthy people for the glory of God like this woman in the story. I’m willing to risk losses for the sake of creating modest gains for the capital pool in order to accelerate access to this capital with the intent to be sustainable. I’m not looking for a personal return on the funds, rather would plow any gains back into the pool. If this is beyond Hope’s current practices I respect that. If you know of others who may be like-minded I would be very grateful if you pint me in their direction. Thank you for being who you are! i pray god’s favor on your Kingdom-building work.