"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded.
And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager

With Ya, my Ga tutor in Mallam
The Rev. Mike Kinman
Executive Director
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation
Age: 38

Check out Forsyth School ...
where Robin teaches and
the boys attend.

Since you're already blowing time surfing,
why not do some cool stuff

  • Watch the Make Poverty History videos
  • Watch Sara McLachlan's "World on Fire" video
  • Take a seat at Oxfam America's Hunger Banquet
  • Look at the "Eight Ways to Change The World" photo exhibition
  • See how rich you are on the Global Rich List
  • Make a promise to do something cool -- and get people to do it with you
  • Use your computer to fight HIV/AIDS and other diseases

    While you're at it, do these things
  • Join the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History
  • Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network
  • Join Amnesty International
  • Subscribe to Sojourners Online newsletter about faith, politics and culture
  • Sign the Micah Call and join other Christians in the fight against poverty
  • Subscribe to a great new magazine about women and children transforming our world

    People who show us What One Person Can Do
  • Liza Koerner (Teaching soccer and doing mission work in Costa Rica)
  • Erica Trapps (Raising money so Tanzanian children can go to school -- check out her photo gallery)

    What's happening in Sudan might
    surprise (and shock) you

  • Episcopal Diocese of Lui
  • South Sudanese Friends International
  • The Sudan Tribune
  • SudanReeves -- research, analysis and advocacy
  • Save Darfur
  • Darfur: a genocide we can stop

    For your daily fix on the irreverent...
  • Jesus of the Week
  • The Onion

    Interesting People Who Are Great To Read
  • Beth Maynard's excellent U2 sermons blog
  • Global Voices Online
  • Neha Viswanathan - poetry, commentary, humor, reflections

    Some interesting organizations and programs
  • Borgen Project - poverty reduction through political accountability
  • CARE
  • Center of Concern
  • DATA: Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa (Bono's site)
  • El Circulo de Mujeres/Circle of Women
  • Engineering Ministries International
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • FreshMinistries
  • Global Campaign Against Poverty
  • Global Ministries
  • Global Work Ethic Fund -- Promoting philanthropy and fundraising in developing and transition countries.
  • Karen Emergency Relief Fund
  • Magdalene House
  • The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
  • Natural Capitalism
  • NetMarkAid - Humanitarian Entrepreneurs
  • North American Association for the Diaconate
  • Peace Child International
  • People Building Peace
  • Project Honduras
  • Results - Creating political will to end hunger
  • St. Paul's Institute
  • Stop Global AIDS
  • TakingITGlobal -- connecting youth for action in local and global communities
  • Tanzania Educational AIDS Mission
  • TEAR (Transformation, Empowerment, Advocacy, Relief) - An Australian Christian anti-poverty movement
  • Working For Change
  • Xigi.net -- an open-source tool to aid discovery in the capital markets that fund good.

    Some Episcopal churches and dioceses doing cool things
  • Companions of Swaziland - Diocese of Iowa's Companion Relationship
  • International Development Missions -- St. Paul's Church, Sparks, NV
  • The Malaria Villages Project - St. Paul's Church, West Whiteland, PA

    Must-read books and websites about them
  • What Can One Person Do: faith to heal a broken world -- Sabina Alkire & Edmund Newell
  • The End of Poverty -- Jeffrey Sachs

    Learn more about things you really should know more about
  • UN Millenium Development Goals
  • The Millennium Campaign
  • AIDS Matters - a resource for global AIDS professionals
  • Christian Aid's in-depth report: "Millennium Lottery: Who lives and who dies in an age of third world debt?"
  • Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Poverty Mapping
  • Solutions for a water-short world
  • Transparency International: The global coalition against corruption
  • UNICEF's State of The World's Children report 2005

    General cool and/or goofy stuff
  • Alicebot chat robot
  • Bono Quotes -- but what's really wild is that it's from a page on Boycottliberalism.com!
  • Buffy Slanguage
  • Big Bunny

    Useful web tools
  • Gcast - make your own podcast
  • Podzinger - podcast search engine
  • Orb - streaming digital media

    July 2003August 2003November 2003January 2004February 2004March 2004April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005March 2005April 2005May 2005June 2005July 2005August 2005September 2005October 2005November 2005January 2006February 2006March 2006April 2006June 2006July 2006August 2006September 2006October 2006November 2006December 2006January 2007February 2007March 2007April 2007May 2007September 2007October 2007December 2007February 2008July 2008December 2008April 2009

    Listed on Blogwise
  • Thursday, December 30, 2004
    On the House of Bishops and Deputies listserve, there has been a debate about whether America and Americans are generous or stingy -- a debate sparked by the fact that while we give the most money in foreign of any nation we give the smallest percentage of our GNP (0.13) of any of the wealthy nations of the world. And all this with the backdrop of the devastation in SE Asia.

    And it got me thinking ...are we stingy? I really think the answer is yes ... and no ... and in many ways "wrong question." And that's where it's a tough question for us.

    I've always considered myself a generous person. When I was in Ghana this past summer, I lived with an amazing guy, James Sarpei, who had founded an NGO that did great work - HIV/AIDS prevention, care for PLWHA, capacity building, etc -- and was always living hand-to-mouth. He has sunk all his own personal finances into the NGO, and still while I was there they were in danger of having their electricity cut off if a grant didn't come through.

    One morning, a young man came to the house from the fishing village where James had grown up. His fishing net had been torn to shreds by some metal wreckage in the bay ... if he didn't get a new net his family faced starvation. James always brought me into these conversations because he knew that I needed to sit face to face with people like this in my wealth and in their poverty and wrestle with what to do.

    So I'm sitting there, and I'm doing the mental math about how much I can afford to give him .. leaving enough money for my own expenses and to do the travel I wanted to do when my wife came over in a couple weeks. And while I wrestled with how much I could afford to give him, James walked over to the cigar box on his shelf where he kept the family's money, opened it, took the entire stack of bills inside, and handed it to the young man.

    I was sent into a mental tailspin. I was at the same time amazed by what James had just done, embarrassed at what comparatively little I was prepared to do, and not sure what to do next. I ended up doubling what I had planned on giving -- more out of shame than anything else -- and that gave enough money to buy the net.

    So ... was I stingy? Well, yes, there's no way to rationalize my way out of that one. But then I also know I have a generous heart. I know I give a lot of myself.

    But here's what I learned. Yes, I am generous. But I am generous on MY terms. I am generous and giving when it doesn't push me to extreme sacrifice. I am generous and giving when I can still have enough left over to maintain my standard of living.

    Here's the problem. Christ calls me to be generous on HIS terms. Christ calls me to love him more than anything ... more than my wealth, more than my standard of living ... more than everything. And in loving him, Christ calls me to trust him.

    And that's what it's all about, really. It's not about generous or stingy ... it's about do we trust God, do we trust Christ. Before the baptismal covenant there's a series of three renunciations and three adhesions. The renunciations are about rejecting the forces of evil that draw us from the love of God, and the adhesions are about taking on Christ.

    In those adhesions we pledge to turn to Christ and accept him as our savior, put our full trust in his grace and love, and follow and obey him as our Lord. That's the catch. It's that pesky "full trust" thing.

    After the young man left, I asked James how he could give all that money when his NGO was in such bad shape. He said simply "it's what God would have me do." And you know, the grant came through, the lights stayed on and his own family still got fed.

    I believe the American people are at the heart generous people. I believe we give greatly ... but like just about everything else, we do it on our own terms. Our poverty is not in generosity but in trust.

    It's not an uncommon poverty. The first commandment is all about it. We make ourselves into our own God when we don't trust the one who creates, redeems and sustains us.

    So those who say that we are stingy -- yeah, they're right ... there's no way around it. And those that say that we are generous -- well, they're right, too.

    But I think that argument misses the point. What we need to work on, what we need to pray for, what we need to learn from our sisters and brothers of faith around the world is not about stinginess or generosity but about trust and discipleship.

    For me as a Christian, that means when I get the ERD appeal in my inbox, I need to not think about how much I can afford to give ... I need to ask the question of Christ "what would you have me do?" And as I receive an answer ... and usually I know the right answer because it makes me really nervous ... to have the courage to say "I will, with God's help."
    Mike at 12/30/2004 06:35:00 PM

    Comments: Post a Comment
    Subscribe in a reader
    Episcopalians for
    Global Reconciliation

    EGR is an organization resourcing a grassroots movement of spiritual transformation in the Episcopal Church to end extreme poverty on this planet.

    The structure for this movement is the Millennium Development Goals -- 8 goals committed to by all member nations of the UN and a unique partnership of governments and civil society to:

    *End extreme poverty
    *Achieve universal
    primary education

    *Promote gender equalty
    *Improve maternal health
    *Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
    *Promote environmental sustainability
    *Build a global partnership for development

    EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.

    Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.

    "Christ's example is being demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy, which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here. If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't, it will be irrelevant."
    - Bono


    What I'm Reading
    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin