Dear Partners and Friends,
Given our vocation as inner-city missionaries, it will not surprise you that my wife Marty and I are not big investors when it comes to stocks, bonds, and real estate. Indeed, were I not the part-time executive director of EAPE as well, we might not be big investors in groceries, either. Even so, because part of my paycheck each month goes into a retirement plan, we have learned a little something about mutual funds.
As I understand it, rather than going into the bank, our retirement money gets pooled together with lots of other people's money by a team of shrewd financial analysts, who use all that capital to buy into a diverse group of companies they deem likely to produce big returns on our collective investment. By working together, we mutual fund members enjoy greater buying power and less risk, and reduce the cost of staying on top of all those companies, which makes the whole thing a great deal for everybody...as long as our trusted experts really do their jobs.
I mention this to you because, in a very real sense, EAPE is a kind of mutual fund. When you give to this ministry, your money gets pooled together with the gifts of other friends who share your commitment to evangelism and social justice, and who are willing to trust my father and me and our board of directors to wisely invest that money in a diverse group of innovative Christian ministries we deem likely to produce big returns on your collective investment. The difference, of course, is that in this mutual fund we measure those big returns by changed lives and changed communities instead of dollars and cents.
At this month's EAPE board meeting, we will discuss and determine our ministry budget for the coming year, giving careful consideration to both the performance and the needs of the dizzying array of programs, organizations, and individual missionaries for which we feel somehow responsible. We will base our decisions on hundreds of site visits, staff meetings, personal conversations, ministry reports, phone calls, and emails, on our long experience working for God among the poor, and on our abiding hope that the Holy Spirit is somehow guiding us through the process. In other words, we trusted 'experts' will do our best to do our jobs, for you and for Jesus.
It's a little bit scary, of course, because those decisions matter so much to so many, but it's also a lot of fun, because our collective investments are making such an incredible Kingdom impact. None of us - not even Tony Campolo - could do it alone, but all of us together are feeding hungry children in Africa, educating needy kids in Philadelphia, empowering the poorest of the poor in Haiti, sending former Camden high school dropouts to college, mentoring young leaders and raising up hundreds of new Christian workers around the United States, and boldly proclaiming the red-letter Gospel to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Thank you for trusting my father and me and EAPE to be good stewards of the money you have entrusted to us for Kingdom work. I promise we will keep doing all we can to maximize your investment, for the sake of the poor, in the name of Jesus. So please - continue to invest in EAPE. We need your help!
ABOUT TONY + June 2007