I’m currently in the middle of some assigned reading while I’m in Mali.  One of the books is about the gift catalogs that organizations send out for the holidays.  You know, you pay so much and get to give your family a goat for Christmas.  Only your family doesn’t get the goat, a family in Malawi gets a goat in your family’s honor.  CRWRC has a catalog along these lines.  These are great ideas that are countercultural in North America.  Instead of giving more stuff this year, I encourage you to think about giving sacrificially of yourself and your resources.  Donate money in honor of your family; donate your time together as a family year-round to an organization near you.

I have several quotes from Strom’s book that I’ll be offering you over the next several posts.  I hope that they make you think and reflect as they did me.

Microloans and microenterprise are happening in a lot of places around the world.  I’ve talked with people whose organizations are making loans as small as $10.  It’s amazing what someone can do in some countries with $10 and some training.

Poor people are not stupid; they just don’t have the financial resources at hand that non-poor people do.  Poverty strikes far too many people and Jesus tells us that the poor will always be with us.  That’s hard to hear.  Who is poor?  Am I poor?  Why not?  What would it take to happen to make me poor?

“’It’s naive to think that people are too poor to repay a loan,’ David said.  ‘So far, everyone who has received an animal from these banks has repaid.  This is what helps this program sustain itself.’” – Harvest of Hope by Kay Marshall Strom, p32