Please Don’t Give – Invest.

If you know anything about venture capitalism, you know angel investors don’t dump a million dollars on MIT kids in a garage just to be nice. They do it because they believe in the idea or an undervalued company and expect to reap boatloads of cash.

Which got me to thinking about my soon-to-be friends Telise and Fidelise in Zambia.

Six years ago, Telise and Fidelise were orphans in the capitol city of Lusaka. They were passed from family to family because nobody could afford to raise them. Finally, their grandmother left them with Pastors Jasper and Zion Mutale – the people I am going to work for in July.

This was them six years ago.

'07 both (180)

This is them today.

Picture 3

Jasper and Zion poured the love and mercy of Jesus Christ into them. Now, Telise (left) dreams of being a pilot or an engineer. Mama Zion says he’s intelligent, really funny and has learned to play the guitar.

But this is where my heart skips.

Take a look at the top picture again. Look at Fidelise on the left, look at her eyes. Zion said she doesn’t talk about it much, but during her orphan days, she was “mistreated” and it affects her confidence. Do you know what Fidelise dreams of doing with her life? She wants to be a lawyer and defend poor people and orphans.

My friends, these companies are undervalued.

These kids have the potential to do massive damage to the enemy that messed with them. They just need some angel investors, people like us who can help get them to the private high school, where they can get an education befitting a future lawyer and engineer.

I’m not asking you to give toward their educations which cost about $1200 a year each, I’m asking you to invest because there’s something in it for you.

Jesus said:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. Luke 6:38

The Apostle Paul said:

Let us not become wearing in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10

Malachi the prophet said:

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

Of course, you might donate just because it feels good to give or you’re an attentive follower of Jesus. But if you want to give just to see what will come back, God says in Malachi it’s ok – give it a whirl.

Online fundraising for Team Kirk to Zambia 2013

In July, I’m going to meet these kids face to face and I’m going to tell them about you, by name – Americans who want to help them go to school.

Will you join me? If you click that little widget and make a tax-deductible contribution to SCRUBS Medical Mission, you’re not kissing your cash goodbye, you’re sowing seed into the ground, investing for your future harvest.

How Do I Defend An Orphan?

Before the industrial revolution, the average income per person in the wealthiest nations was only about four times higher than that of the poorest nations. Today, the average American lives on $90+ per day and 2.6 billion people, 40% of the world, live on less than $2.

That data came from When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself, which I’m reading because I have the chance to go to Zambia this summer, and I’m scared of my very white, very rich, very good intentions.

But I’m more scared of doing nothing.

Right now in Chongwe, Zambia there are four women and one man running a school/orphanage in the bush, with jacked up plumbing and 100 variously malnourished kids – and they do it for free. Tim and Holly from Scrubs Medical Mission came to cowboy church looking for a few contractors, plumbers and farmers to go help. I’ll go in a heartbeat, but I’m learning to ask God about these things before running out for typhoid shots.

Here’s what the Bible says about orphans:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27

Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:17

Whoever receives a child in My name, receives Me. Matthew 18:5

If anyone has material possession and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? IJohn 3:17

If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

Authors Steve Corbett and Dr. Brian Fikkert put it this way: “If God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments were to have a concern for the poor during eras of relative economic equality, what are we to conclude about God’s desire for the North American church today?”

But we have to be smart because we know development solutions formulated in a rectory in Cleveland, don’t always translate in Africa, but that hardly relieves us from the duty. The God I say I believe commands me take care of the widow, the poor, the immigrant and the orphan, just like he commanded the Nation of Israel. They failed at it too.

Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says. James 1:22

So I’m praying and surrendering my assumptions and educating myself about these June 2010 002exact people, in this exact location, so I don’t hurt them with my ignorance. God knows I’m ignorant, obese with blessing and unequal to the task, but he also knows I can build simple irrigation systems in arid places.

Maybe I can help.

I don’t know if I’m going yet. I’ll keep you posted.