This was written by Deanna Price, a member of "The Hole in Our Gospel" small group at the Little Church on the Prairie. Deanna wrote this piece for the church newsletter. She's given me permission to add it to the blog.
Here it is:
FOCUS Group #6 "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Deanna Price.
The last meeting of FOCUS Group #6 was billed by Pastor James, our group leader, as a celebration dinner and what a celebration it was, but let me start at the beginning.
Our group read "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision. Using Isaiah 1 as an example, Mr. Stearns posited that God is tired of people and churches who just "go through the motions" of their faith. The hole in our gospel, he says, is that we, as individuals and as churches, are not reflecting God's love for us to others. We should be doing this by showing compassion to those in need, not only locally, but around the world.
The book and accompanying videos were very thought-provoking and impactful.
As a group we decided to donate toward what world vision calls, "micro loans". These loans are given to individuals or groups in Third World nations who have been screened by World Vision to start or grow a business. The recipients pay back the loan to World Vision over time and World Vision then uses the money to fund more worthy business ventures.
As a group we donated $1,075.00 and decided we wanted to help a woman or women in Mexico. We were excited to find that we could fund four businesses. And then Pastor James noticed that an anonymous donor had agreed to match funds that were donated.
We now had double our money in essence. In total we funded seven complete loans and donated toward an eighth. What a lesson for us all. If we are generous, God will bless our generosity.