Hi friends! For the next while I’ll be posting updates here about our experiment in churchfunding microloans for buying a house in Atlanta. Many of you are supporting this project, and I want to keep you well informed!
(For those of you who aren’t interested, please sit tight. We will return to regular programming in a bit! I promise that fundraising will not be a primary long-term focus of this blog. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please go here and consider getting involved: Churchfunding a House in Atlanta: Official Launch.)
(As of 6:00 a.m. EST, 10/13/2015)
We are over 1/4 of the way to our goal of $80,000!
Total pledged so far: $20,624.55 (after tithe deducted)
Total pledgers: 38 generous friends
Largest pledge: $3000
Smallest pledge: $75
Average pledge: $551.83
Pledges so far include about $3,450 in gifts. This means we have $345 to add to the nearly $2,500 we will be tithing from gifts from family, all of which will be split between helping those driven from their homes in the Middle East and the building purchase fund of the Missions Training Center in NYC.
So far the gifts we have received easily cover any interest we will owe. Thus it looks like we are being blessed with an interest-free loan! What an incredible gift! (But remember, we certainly have no quibbles about paying interest.)
Note: Figures here will fluctuate just a little after we know what exchange rate Canadian contributions actually receive.
I think my favorite pledge today was a $500 pledge (interest-free loan) from an 81-year-old woman who I first met on Amazon, while having a good discussion about church membership in a comments thread at the end of a book review. After that discussion we became friends on Facebook. Then today this dear sister surprised me by sending a pledge! And by revealing her age! 🙂
Speaking of age, another somewhat-less-senior friend emailed me this:
Wondering if your plans for “random” repayments factor in the age of the lenders! We would probably want to be higher on the list rather than later.
I think that’s a reasonable request. Maybe we should tweak the randomness a bit in favor of those over, say, 60? I’d hate for my friend to still be waiting for a check at 96… If you have thoughts about this, speak on.
I have another story I would love to tell but can’t share here. Let’s just say this churchfunding project is unfolding before the eyes of the unchurched, too, causing at least one person’s heart to soften toward the church. As my friend who told me this story said, “An interesting side benefit, isn’t it?” Indeed! In fact, this may be the main idea in God’s mind.
Especially for Canadians
If you are a Canadian considering joining this project, we both know about the horrid exchange rates right now. But if you want to persist, I did a bit of thinking today about the best options for sending funds south of the border.
I think two options may be best:
* Use PayPal to send funds to my PayPal email address (which I’ll provide when the time for collecting pledges nears). There will be no PayPal fees besides exchange rates as long as senders do not use a debit or credit card when sending the funds. Instead, use funds already deposited in PayPal or use PayPal to send funds directly from a bank account. This will be the quickest option.
* Mail a bank draft in US funds to my physical address (which I’ll provide when needed). This will be slower and cost senders a bank processing fee, but is still a good option.
If any Canadians know of better options, I’m listening.
If you do invest in this project, we will track your loan in US dollars based on what we receive after currency exchange. Then when repayment time comes, we will return that US dollar amount via whatever exchange rates are current at that time. Does that make sense? If not, again, I am ears; I want this to be not only easy to track, but also fair. (And as a fellow Canadian, I am well aware that it isn’t always fun being the mouse living next to the elephant!)
We remain very humbled and honored by the outpouring of love we are receiving! We are experiencing grace once again. It only comes to those who don’t deserve it.
Please pray that:
- God will be honored in everything.
- He will continue to raise up supporters, if this pleases him.
- The house we have our eyes on will remain on the market till funds are raised, and then prove to be purchasable—or that God will provide something better for his purposes.
- A special blessing would be given to Rod and his family, as he volunteers a lot of time for this project.
- We will be shaped more fully into Christ’s image.
If you have questions or comments, share them below. God bless!