Summer 2007. I first hear of microcredit as an option for the poor. Intrigued, I begin to read. Then tto seek a match for my own charitable objectives:
A microcredit-plus Christian organization, locally managed and sustainable, with solid training and evaluation of local staff. An organizaion with a loan repayment rate of close to 100%, proven, measurable results, and funds available to the poor without limit to faith or gender. An organization willing to take risks for people and on people. An organization that is willing to work in partnerships.
How could I know I would find it in Opportunity International? And more. So much more. A top-down AND bottom-up heart for the poor, a belief that people want opportunity rather than charity, an organization committed to integrity and transparency for themselves, their clients, and their partners. An organization that understands opportunity must be supported by wholeistic knowledge and a respect for cultural values and differences.
It's been a year since my Insight Trip to Columbia. I've made life changes because of it. Now I sit on the sidelines, feeling ineffective, although happily overwhelmed by the tremendous advances being made in so many countries. Perhaps there's others that feel as I do...how small my contributions are, in every sense of the word. But I have chosen to rest in God's call with this and for now, to pray...to give...and to send. My son and daughter-in-law will be going on their first Insight trip this month. When I can plant a seed, I trust the Lord to water it.
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