YahooNews reported on an Oakland, California pastor who raised $65,000 for an African orphanage by distributing about $12,000 to the congregation and asking them to use the money to make more. Mark Wiesner, pastor at the St. Augustine Catholic Church, gave congregants varying amounts between $15 and $100, and each came up with a creative way to increase their gift. During the next 90 days, people did everything from lemonade stands to yard sales to backyard carnivals. Most gave away their wares but accepted donations in return. Wiesner said he expected to receive between $30,000 and $40,000 back but instead, people said they got back “three to five times” what they gave out.
“The people,” Rev. Wiesner said, “began to realize they can make a difference. You don’t have to be a millionaire or a billionaire to change peoples lives.”
Construction will begin soon on the orphanage, and the pastor is now looking for ways to fund the equipping of the building with furniture and other items.