I made my first loan on Kiva today. As part of my ideas about how I’m spending my money this year, I’ve carved out some charitable giving to my church, World Vision, and my friends who work as Cru staff, but I also wanted to do Kiva. Kiva is a way to enable people to work with the expectation that capitalism will work out the way it’s intended to. You give a loan of $25, $50, or more, which is added to the loans that other people make in order to allow an individual or group to receive funds that can then be used for the conditions of an individual’s loan. The individuals receiving the loans work with a broker in their countries to receive and repay the loans that are given. Once you receive money back, you can lend it out to another individual or group and keep the cycle going.
I plan on giving $25/month to this group in order to support people I’ve never met and never will meet. It’s a way of enabling them to make the most of their lives. I hope that in doing this, I am providing a better quality of life to a family, promoting nutrition, and allowing for children to access education. World poverty is so easy to forget about when we see so many things in our own country that need attention, but I really feel like this is a tangible way to reach out to individuals. $25 is less than I spend to drive to work every week, and for some people, that money can mean the difference between having a business that serves their community, and not having their business.
There is need everywhere and it will never completely be erased. World peace is impossible, no matter what Miss America has reportedly said for decades. What I do know is that Jesus calls us to serve the widows and the poor, and that is what I intend to do with my life. Echoing this, I love the John Wesley quote, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” I’m taking this as the goal for my life, and even when there are challenges, I know that everything I do is making something a little bit better for someone. I can hope and pray that I’ll meet people along the way on this path in life who share that vision and whom I can connect with in order to create a greater impact, but even if I do not have the strength of many people with me, I am not alone, and good will still win.