For sometime now I have been fascinated with Micorcredit. According to Wikipedia Microcredit:
"is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not considered bankable. These individuals lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history and therefore cannot meet even the most minimal qualifications to gain access to traditional credit. Microcredit is a part of microfinance, which is the provision of a wider range of financial services to the very poor."
I know Kiva.org has been around for a while now and it is nothing new, but it is something which I have begun to seriously consider as a way of shifting from acts of mercy to acts of justice. At Kiva.org you can lend money to entrepreneurs whom you like and over time the loan you give (as small as $25) is repaid which you can then re-lend, give to Kiva or keep for yourself.
It is my hope that one day the church could get into microcredit at the local level. It is the whole give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish idea. Microcredit is an easy way for people like you and me to allow people to learn to fish!