Lost my job, found my purpose
Yesterday, I lost my job. Again.
In a text, my friend ironically responded, “Congratulations Mr. Christian Hidden!!! Wellcome, you’ve arrived.”
I thought, actually you are right, I have arrived. By losing my job I figured out what I want to do in life. I want to work in construction, using my degree in engineering to make enough money to give at least 50% of it away. But to who? And why?
While in London, I met Alex, an entrepreneur who later introduced me to his brother, Ed, a med student in 2014. We discussed our mutual interest in philanthropy and how we made our decision to give away money.
For me it began when I was 8 years old. It was Christmas time. I sprang out of bed and raced to the Christmas tree. I was so excited for my Dad to open his gift that I almost completely forgot about opening mine. However, it wasn’t until I was starting college that it occurred to me that I could become a philanthropist. Not a Billionaire, but make enough money to give some percentage of it away. How about 3%? At $30,000 a year, that’s $900 or about $3 a day.
Later in 2014, Ed asked me, “Would you like to support an Indian missionary in India for $80 a month? Thats enough money for their clothes, food, water and shelter for an entire month!”
Wow! $80 bucks a month.
Placing this in perspective, $80 is equivalent to my monthly phone bill, or what I spend on coffee monthly, or my weekly grocery budget. That’s also the 3% I mentioned earlier. Only 3% of your salary to feed and fully support a missionary.
At first, I said yes, I’ll support a missionary. Then I thought again. What if I started a non-profit so others here in the USA can support missionaries in India for the price of a cup of coffee each day?
500,000 Churches USA
I called an Indian friend and asked her to join me in this adventure. She said yes and the process began.
Then I lost my job, the first time. Right before Christmas 2014.
Now with some free time, I decided to spearhead this project. With all of us in the UK and USA working closely together, 500,000 Churches USA came to fruition.
Interestingly, I had not personally met Ed, Pastor Das, or anyone else associated with 500,000 Churches (500k). But through our Skype conversations and monthly meetings I became highly involved by advocating, supporting and praying for the missionaries in India.
I wanted to travel the country advocating for 500k, but God had other plans. Moving from West Virginia to North Carolina I quickly found another job a month later, ironically, the job I just lost. As all of us volunteer while working our day jobs, 100% of the donated money is going to the missionary for their family to live on while they preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to one and up to 10 villages. Some missionaries are blessed with 15 people coming each week for prayer and others 150 people.
What can I be doing?
These missionaries’ passion is to share the gospel with their home village or a neighboring one while we support their hard labor. Similarly, we are being paid to do our jobs in engineering, technology, medicine, law, etc. while our clients and companies support our families, through our hard work. But the difference is, we have an abundance that we can share with our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ in India. So whether you are rocking your current position or like me, in a period of transition, let me pose this question:
How am I helping the world become a better place?
Arguably, I’m saving my little world by going to work and sustaining myself and those who rely on me. However, by additionally supporting both yourself and a missionary you are able to save 100’s and possibly 1000’s of lives, for what? The cost of your cell phone bill, coffee or groceries?
That’s how I’m helping the world. $80 at a time.
No, I don’t have a job yet, but I have the opportunity to spend more time advocating for 500k and the millions of people yet to hear the gospel of Jesus our brother and friend.
Blessings, Christian Hidden