Yesterday I had the opportunity to drop my beautiful wife off at the garage where we get our auto work done. We were putting new tires on her car in advance of a trip she is making and to help improve the value of her car, which we are trying to sell. On the drive back to the office from the garage NPR had a story on a shoe company called Green Sole Shoes. This company has set a goal to put shoes on 1 million kids and their shoes are made from 100% recycled materials by local artisans in Southeast Asia. One of the founders was driving in Manila, Philippines when they notices the number of kids who did not have any shoes and people walking around town who had made shoes out of old tires. Check out the story on NPR here http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104334308.
What struck me most about this story is the founders ability to look into a shanty town and trash dump in Manilla and see an opportunity to start a business, help local artisans, and get free shoes to kids. One man’s trash is part of another man’s business model.
When Jesus stepped out of heaven and into the world he was looking into a messed up world full of sin, murder, violence, etc and helping people what can happen when they partner with them. He can take the trash in our lives and recycle them into a story of transformation and hope. When you go into the worst neighborhood in your community what do you see? Do you see opportunities? I pray that God would give us all the eyes to see with eyes like Green Sole Shoes.
Opportunities abound, but obedience is in short supply. We now the story of Tom’s Shoes, but what other companies do you know of who are making a difference in an underpriveliged world with their business model?