A Giving Pledge

"Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you."
                                                                                                                      —Deuteronomy 16:17

Conventional wisdom says that, to be a philanthropist, one must be rich. When we hear that word, philanthropy, we typically envision people of abundant wealth, such as the late Joan Kroc or, most recently, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Three years ago, Buffett and Gates launched an initiative called The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Since then, Buffett and Gates have persuaded a number of American billionaires to sign on to this cause, asking them, in their lifetime or at their death, to give away 50 percent of their wealth.

In recent days, Gates and Buffett have expanded the initiative to include wealthy people abroad, starting with 12 pledgers from eight different countries. To date, 105 individuals or families have joined the ranks.

Right now, you must be asking, “What does this have to do with me?” Giving at the level of Gates and Buffett seems impossible. But billionaires notwithstanding, you can still rise to a biblical giving challenge. Because the truth is, you can be a philanthropist (patron, humanitarian, donor, sponsor, promoter, contributor, backer, guarantor) right now with what is already in your hand. Your desire to benefit other people as a result of your love for them and for the Lord actually begins in your heart, rather than in your pocket.

God wants you to know that you can do great things for the poor, ”… in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.”

For example, a 21–year–old New Jersey City University graduate student founded and continues to fund a 200–student elementary school in Ghana, West Africa—and she does it with just $500 U.S. per month.

In this issue, you’ll read about what The Salvation Army is doing in our territory to combat the global scourge of sexual trafficking of young women. You’ll also read what Commissioner AndrĂ© Cox, the Chief of the Staff (second in command of the international Salvation Army), has to say about the world’s economic crisis, which he calls “a huge challenge” that has a “very real influence on our Army.”

It’s great to know that you and I are in a position to do something about it—right now. How much will you pledge?

Source: http://www.sagoodnews.org/article.php?articleID=1957

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