Last month May traveled to South Africa for two separate back-to-back meetings, global operations and global technology. These two groups keep Cru running as smoothly as possible around the globe. To give you an idea of the challenges they face, consider one action group that May was in. Together with staff from: Switzerland, England, Ethiopia and Mali, they confronted the challenge of making giving easier in those African countries. In Mali, for example, actual collectors go around to donors collecting gifts in cash. It is then passed directly to the staff person, or to the central office, or pocketed. Banks are so expensive that no one, even the organization, has a bank account. Can you imagine the challenges this creates?!
Since the traditional banks have failed to provide service to the people in Mali a new "banking system" has been developed to exchange money via text messaging. This very diverse international group worked together on a realistic process to help the donor's gifts effectively get to the central office and then to staff they're supporting. This can happen while also thanking the donor for each gift creating accountability and building trust.
These are some of the challenges our global organization faces! May, along with her European colleagues were shocked at the lack of infrastructure that we in the western world take for granted. Our Swiss friend was literally pulling his hair out!
While in South Africa, they had an outing to a zoo. May had the chance to pet four month old lions. People were warned that they might bite or scratch, and some definitely did! They were cute to look at, but oily and course to pet. I'll take her word for it.
I was told by our upstairs neighbor that Rennes is not Paris. This is true on so many levels! Here are a few differences in no particular order: You can find a vast variety of things, for example, there is the Paris Duck Store where you can find any kind of rubber duck, from rock stars to unicorns. Our only transportation are our legs and the public system. It is more difficult to find fresh fruits and vegetables. The moment you leave your apartment, it is bustling with people everywhere. The sky is small. Tourists are always taking pictures of our everyday lives. Homeless people sleep on mattresses on the sidewalk. Paris is a microcosm of humanity from the proud to the impoverished. A short walk from our apartment is a wall of ceramic tiles with the words "I love you" written in 250 different languages. We firmly believe that is exactly God's message to the 12 million people who live in this area. Thank you for partnering with us!