Sunday, February 18, 2007

Changing Life

I have read an interesting article defining successful micro-credit from failures. To sum it up it is not the money that changes lives but the other things asked of the borrower. This is based upon Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Banks and the focus he is getting from Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. I encourage you to read it to understand where I am going with my life.

http://www.symbiotics.ch/en/rss_microfinance.asp?id=b332

I am involved in another ministry, Crown Financial, which seeks to help develop a Biblical way of handling money. Here in America it is 99% getting out of debt. And the radio programs, Bible studies, small groups, counseling is all very invasive. All the material seeks to very much change your life, and that is harsh if you do not want to.

So I spent the last five years of my life with Crown's anti-debt mantra drilled into me. And now I am to go lend money to others? This has been a struggle. Then I looked at several Bible verses. Proverbs 22:7 "Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender." and also Deuteronomy 15:4-6 and 28:1, 2, 12, which ends with "You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none." AH!!! Look at what Mr. Yunas requires of his borrowers. Weekly loan repayments, promises not to do certain behaviors. The same is true for Opportunity International. They require weekly meetings, there is group accountability, and so much more that I do not know yet. This gives me confidence, we will leverage our stance as a lender not as money grubbers do for our gain but for cultural change, one borrower as a time.

But that is a big weight on our shoulders, we are asking for lives to change, culture to change, and who is to say what is the right culture? "You may have the money if you hop on one foot an hour a day." I don't want people to say they are a Christian just to get some cash. No I want changed lives, hearts. A slow steady solid change, such that for the year I am working, I will only have set the groundwork.

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