Rich Wymore's God Sighting

My God Sighting is the 39 persons, most of them from my church, who have contributed $5,300 to the U-City Microcredit Club. I wish Tom Mitchell could have been here this morning because he is the person who organized this club in 2009. He patterned after a club started by Jaimie Wagner from our church at John Burrough School.

For those of you who don’t know, we make small loan to persons around the world who have no, or limited access to, credit. We do that through KIVA, which is computerized system that finds persons with credit needs and makes them available to persons with money to lend. So, we have taken that $5,300 fund and, as of our last meeting, made slightly more than $40,000 in loans, which means that, for every dollar contributed, we have loaned $7.25.

How do we do that? As loans are paid off, the money flows back into our KIVA account and we loan it right back out again.

This morning I want to tell you about Akbari. Akbari is 47 years old, married with 4 children, and she lives in Multan, Pakistan. I just want to point out here that the average annual income in Pakistan is $4,300. Her husband works as a driver but is not able to make enough money to support the family. So 15 years ago, Akbari turned her skills in making papar (a dessert similar to a crepe) into a business. She makes the papar in her home and sells it fresh right there. But she was never able to make much money at it because she could not afford to buy the materials in large enough quantities to make enough papar to satisfy her customers’ needs.

And then she discovered Brac, which is a non-government agency that loans money to small businesses that have no other access to it. They are able to do that because of KIVA, who will offer the loan to anyone with an account. So Brac made her the loan and then offered it on KIVA. We liked the loan and loaned $100 toward it.

So she was able to borrow 432 rupees ($400), so she could buy the white flour, salt, and oil that she needs to produce enough papar to fill the demands of her customers every day. She will pay that back in 12 monthly installments, beginning in September. This is the 4th time she has done this, and she now has a very successful business.

Now this loan is no different from any other loan that we have made from any other loan that we have made in 77 countries around the world except for one thing: this is loan number 500.

We think this is a real milestone and just want to thank all of you who have participated in this mission. And for those of you who have not but would like to donate, our minimum contribution is $25. It is a donation and so is tax deductible. It gives you the opportunity to attend our meetings and participate in the loan-making process. And you also get reports of the loans we have made. If you think that is a worthy cause, contact me and I will tell you how to make it happen. Thank you.