Here is the chief of the village of Gandhigram. His wife is standing by his side. I wish I spoke his language, because what a story he could tell. The village where he lives is filled with Christians, but it was not always so. They used to be a criminal tribe. As low-caste “untouchables” they had no means of substantial income. They stole. They cheated. They lied. But that all changed when they heard the Gospel. They were converted–every last one of them–and now a red cross adorns each of their homes.
I wonder what the Chief thinks when he thinks about the way things used to be.
Things are still not easy for the folks in his village. Adults try to scrape together an honest living as day laborers, but as low-caste they aren’t many people’s first choice. Their children can’t go to school. Life is hard. There isn’t always enough food to go around. There isn’t always clean water to drink.
But the Chief had a plan, a vision for things to come. It was to drill a well and construct a building that would serve as a school and a church and maybe a nutrition center for the children. The people could rally around it, receive a sense of dignity from it. It would serve them well. And so they prayed. They prayed and they prayed. Last fall I traveled to India and I prayed with them. Our group gathered and knelt on the piece of dirt that they felt God had set aside for such a purpose.
Then they waited.
I was nearly moved to tears this morning when I opened my e-mail. In it were pictures from Gandhigram, where The 25 Group is partnering with local leaders to help the chief’s vision come to pass. We are funding the construction of the building as well as the drilling and installation of a clean water well. The pictures showed that the well was complete and that the villagers were rejoicing. I knew they had started work. I couldn’t believe it was already finished. And I thought back on the way God had moved in our lives in the past year, and how generous those who have given had been.
This is the reason my wife and I sold our house. This is why we started our nonprofit organization The 25 Group. This is why we are (imperfectly) attempting to waste less and give more. For this very purpose over 90 people have determined in their hearts to give nearly $16,000 in just three months.
This is also why we aren’t going anywhere, and why we will be leveraging wealth to fund global Kingdom work for years to come. It’s why we’re still taking donations (You can give here!) This is why we’ll going to keep sending money until our commitment to fund the community building is fulfilled. This is why we’re committed to funding a nutrition center in Los Perez, Dominican Republic. This is why we’re buying enough vitamins for a year’s supply for all 11 nutrition centers in the Dominican Republic. This is why we’ve already reached out to 4 more organizations and are lining up our next round of projects.
This is why. Those pictures. Smiles, dancing, hands raised to God. Our giving community is doing what we set out to do — leveraging our collective wealth to do good all over the world. Today it’s a picture of a pump splashing water on children’s hands. Someday soon it will be a picture of a building standing in the center of a village that once was barren. The landscape and their hearts were both barren. God gets the glory. You deserve some thanks. We’re nothing fancy, The 25 Group. We’re just tired of saying no when we can say yes.
Real people. Real generosity. Real transformation.
If you don’t believe me, take it from our friends in India. They are drinking safely today because of your giving. The glory goes to God, but I am confident that the people of Gandhigram are praising God for you today as they pump the sparkling water into their cups and buckets.
Thanks from the children, thanks from our partner organization CICM, and thanks from all of us at The 25 Group. Oh, and thanks from the chief. We may not speak his language, but the message that we care about him is coming across loud and clear.
If you’d like to make a donation to The 25 Group, you can do so here. It takes less than 3 minutes to set up a recurring monthly gift. As you can see, your money will be put to good use.