The last two days, I attended the Leadership Summit at one of the satellite sites. I was a little reluctant to go...only because they were taking up my only days off, and I do not give those up easily! But, I had said I would go, so I did, and I'm so thankful that I did. We had some great speakers, but there were a few that totally captured my heart. I don't think I could capture their message with my little blog, so I'll just give you their names, websites and what they do. If you are curious, I'd love to chat about it, I just don't think writing could do them justice!
Jessica Jackley :: kiva.org :: "Kiva lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur, empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty." That's what their website says first off, and I've gotta say, it's brilliant! God has gifted the founders of Kiva with a heart for the people around the world living in poverty. What a great way to make things personal for both the lender and the entrepreneur. Ahhh...I could go on and on about the ways Kiva is awesome, but you should check it out for yourself!
Harvey Carey :: Citadel of Faith Covenant Church :: Harvey Carey is a dynamic pastor out of Detroit, Michigan. He spoke to us with passion and authority...and his authority came out of his authenticity. He was teaching about the way he leads his church, and we wanted to listen because he was so real. He doesn't bring his church together every week to learn and grow and then go home. He creates opportunites for them to actually get in the game. He gave the analogy of a football game, and encouraged us to stop being part of the huddle and start being part of the game. Very inspiring and convicting at the same time.
Andrew Rugasira :: Good African Coffee :: Andrew is the founder and CEO of Good African Coffee, which is a company that is committed to helping Africans help themselves through trade, not aid. He made a great point that no country in the world has developed by taking handouts. He said that we as a world, are creating a continent that is chronically dependent on aid, when what they need is someone to parner with them and see them as people they can do business with, not "poor africans" that need a handout.
Wes Stafford :: Compassion International :: Wes spoke about his past and the pain that he endured as a young child in a missionary boarding school in Africa. Having read his book, Too Small to Ignore, and heard him speak multiple times, it was STILL incredibly moving to hear his story and how God has redeemed his pain and has used him to lead an incredible organization that helps an amazing amount of children each year. I highly encourage you to read his book...I have two copies if you'd like to borrow :)
Those are some of the people that really spoke to my heart and challenged me both as a Christian and a leader. The winds of change are blowing, and I can't wait to see where they take us!