Casting Bread Upon the Water, Catching Fish of Every Kind

Meditations in MotionMy husband Bill and I went trail running this week with a friend. We started out on a gravel road, then soon turned off onto muddy single track in the woods and climbed, climbed, climbed.

Just when I was about to protest, we reached our destination, Eagle Rock. Here, there is a view worthy of the ascent and we paused for a few minutes to appreciate it. And catch our breath.

Whenever we go to this particular trail running location, I think of my dad. The trail begins at one of his favorite fishing holes.

Meditations in MotionMy father was a trout fisherman, a purist. He tied his own flies from feathers and bits of string and yarn. In later life, he mostly practiced a policy of catch-and-release; his fondness for fresh, sauteed trout for breakfast never really caught on with the rest of the family.

My dad was a proponent of the old adage Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I am too, with conditions.

If the hungry person is too old or sick to go fishing, then teaching him to fish won’t help fill his belly. In that case, I think, just give him a fish.

I also think this philosophy should hold true for businesses. I believe we are giving too many fish or at least selling them at a much discounted price, to wealthy corporations. They should be catching their own fish.

But I digress.

My oldest son was in the Peace Corps for several years, first as a volunteer, then as an employee. He was stationed in a remote Zambian village.

In the village where he first lived, during the rainy season, the chief source of protein in the diet of the villagers, and an unreliable one at that, was insects.

Meditations in MotionMy son’s job was to assist villagers in constructing and maintaining ponds to use for fish farming, fulfilling the directive of the adage quite literally.

One year, for Christmas, this son and his wife gave me one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received, one that is still paying dividends. They donated $25 in my name to an organization called Kiva.

The premise of this organization is simple: that $25 was loaned to a borrower (along with money from other donors) to create opportunity for himself and his community. Many of the loans go to individuals in developing nations, but you get to pick the country where the money is loaned as well as the individual who receives your donation.

The money from the loan may help a widowed mom buy fertilizer for her crops or a teacher buy materials to construct a school or it may help provide clean drinking water for a village.

The loan comes with a payback schedule. When the $25 is paid back, I loan it out again to someone else. Even though over the years, I have added to the initial $25 and am now sponsoring several loans, the initial seed money from my son and daughter-in-law is still being recycled over and over again to people in need.

Here are the stories of three people I have lent money to:

Meditations in MotionMoi is a Thai woman with a husband and three-year-old daughter living in a traditional Thai stilt house in Vietnam. She needed a loan to buy small fish to help her begin fish farming to earn money for her family.

 

 

Meditations in MotionRogaciano, his wife, and two small children live in Mexico. He used the money from the loan to buy 6,000 coffee plants to plant on his land.

 

 

Meditations in MotionFidel lives in Colombia. He is married with two teenagers. He began selling tropical fruit from a street cart but soon learned he could make more money selling fish. The loan allowed him to buy fish to sell from his cart.

I also donate to Kiva through the Amazon Smile program.

Even though I am not teaching these people to fish, I am loaning them money to buy a fishing pole and that’s just as good. Maybe even better.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.” Matthew 13:47

 

You can find the places I link up here.

I am also linking up with Carole Knits for Three on Thursday for the first time.

Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.

Meditations in Motion

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_aas_redirect?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_aas_redirect?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/chpf/about/ref=smi_aas_redirect?ie=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

 

46 comments

  1. Interesting – I have never heard of this group Laurie. Your donations are certainly put to good use. They used to have a 5K called “Walk for Water” which donations helped to enable people in very poor companies have potable water. They don’t have the 5Ks at the Park any more which is too bad, also a good cause though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really like this group. I have lent out that original $25 many times over the years. I wonder if racing groups have trouble getting permits to run at your park. Some parks do not like to allow races there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That could be as they did not return. It was just a walk though, not a run – they didn’t really advertise much and I went down there and it was taking place. And I signed up for the following year and never received a date or info on it – wrote them and they never brought it back again. I think they only have the 5K event for the education foundation which I have participated in the last several years – they have to go out into the neighborhoods to make a route that is 5K as the whole Park path is just two miles.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have heard of Kiva before and I just checked their page kiva.org right now. I like it!
    Being in South Africa right now, I see a lot of poverty. With access to a loan and the right guidance, there is a lot of potential for poorer people to make a living. Thanks for the tip, Laurie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie, I loved reading this post as the non-profit I am involved in also believes in providing micro-loans. If you enjoy stories about the recipients, I’ll share the link here: https://thelulutree.com/microloans/
    You are absolutely right – the premise is simple but the outcome is huge. May God bless you and those who are helped through your giving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think micro-loans have the potential to unlock so many possibilities for people living in developing countries and right here in the US. I will check out the link. Thank you, Joanne.

      Like

  4. Laurie,
    I would draw the line at trout for breakfast as well! At Redeemer Christian Foundation, where I am the Founder and President, we are looking to start a similar sewing program for young women beyond school age who have no formal education. We loan them a sewing machine and we teach them how to sew. It is then up to them to earn money from sewing projects they go out and get on their own. When they pay back pay the price of the machine, they can keep the machine to earn a living wage. They will then participate in a “Scarves for the Cause” sewing project to pay for machines for others to learn to sew….and the cycle continues. This helps these young women (like it helps the children in our school) avoid harm like human trafficking and forced child labor. Check us out…www.redeemerinc.org
    Blessings and loved your post!
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Teaching someone to fish if they don’t have a pole is not of much value. It sounds like Moi knows how to fish and Rogaciano is willing to dig the holes. But they needed the seed (fish and plants) to multiply their efforts. Just as your initial investment has grown, so will theirs. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kiva! Thank you for this serendipitous post, Laurie! I’ve been trying to come up with a meaningful gift for my Dad’s big birthday this year—I’m checkkng this out, pronto. What stands out for me, here, is how involved and invested you feel with Kiva. That will make such a big difference to him. Thanks for the stories & photos!

    Liked by 1 person

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