This was no ordinary Saturday evening. There I was speaking with colleagues at the prestigious Hong Kong Club sharing about how business men and women could invest in the lives of children in Asia – and that investing in a local, networked response is more efficient, powerful and sustainable than other models.
Just a few hours earlier I had spent a time in Delhi with children and seen with my own eyes the reality and power of Viva’s vision to bring lasting change to the lives of Indian children through the power of collective action.
Back to Hong Kong and, standing in front of 90 dinner guests, I could sense that the buzz of this ‘Investing in life’ evening was the culmination of the last few years of dedicated networking and vision sharing by Rob and Christine Lilwall, National Directors of Viva Hong Kong.
People were also there to hear from Lord Green, former Chair of HSBC (pictured top left), who was sharing from his many years of experience in the business and banking sector. He spoke powerfully about our calling to steward the resources God has entrusted to us and to invest those resources wisely.
And he also challenged those with significant wealth to consider the 10 per cent biblical tithe as just a starting point for giving – not the end.
During the evening, my colleague Justine Demmer, Viva’s Network Consultant for the Philippines, shared how an already-present and active network in that country was so much better able to respond in the aftermath of the typhoon – and that more children were safer as a direct result.
A few days later, whilst walking along the shores of Eastern Samar, the poorest area of the Philippines, I once again saw with my own eyes how the local church network in this region has indeed responded in ways I would have never thought possible.
Sitting on that beach I reflected on the ‘Investing in life’ dinner and the generous supporters from Hong Kong who were now starting to commit, invest and influence to bring lasting change to children’s lives.
They might never get an opportunity to meet the children, and the children’s workers and pastors who work day in, day out to keep them safe. But I can now look these supporters in the eye and say that their investment is being stewarded well – and that it is indeed bringing life.
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