Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ally Spotlight: David Weir and the Valic Group

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — We have all heard of churches sending teams on mission trips and families sponsoring a child, but what about a group of co-workers coming together to support a community in extreme poverty? For David Weir of Zionsville, Indiana, this type of opportunity was exactly what he had been waiting for.

Prior to getting involved with Bright Hope, David and his wife Corrie were already active tithers at church and made donations to various charities, but described it as ‘all done at an arms length.’ “We just felt like there had to be some other way we could get involved with one community and do more than just send resourcesto pray for them, to get to know them, and experience life with them,” David shares.

An exciting opportunity for community transformation

When David heard about Community Transformation Projects through Bright Hope, he knew it was a perfect fit. The project is a three-year relationship between a community in the United States and a community in extreme poverty where they exchange resources, learn from each other and come together in prayer, resulting in mutual transformation.

David is an advisor for Valic Financial Advisors, and is very involved in organizations in the Indianapolis area that focus on helping financial advisors and their clients integrate biblical practices into their finances and encourage generosity.

“I thought the best way we could encourage our clients to give was to set an example ourselves first,” David explains. So he took a step of faith and invited other financial advisors at Valic to join him in a three-year partnership with a group of churches in Bolivia through Bright Hope. The response he got was astounding, “Every single person I asked said yes.”

The Valic group of financial advisors have partnered with churches in Bolivia to bring mutual transformation.

The Valic group has experienced transformation through their partnership with churches in Bolivia.

The Valic group consists of five financial advisors from the company and their spouses, as well as one of David’s clients. They have partnered with Pastor Cleto and Hosanna Church in Oruro, Bolivia. Six months into the relationship, the group is overwhelmed by the incredible transformation they are already experiencing.

Unexpected transformation through partnership

At the start, many members of the group had expected to be able to bless the community financially, providing funds for different projects and initiatives. They never imagined the type of blessings they would receive in return! Pastor Cleto and his church have welcomed the Valic group with open arms and treated them as part of their community.

Todd Bierberich, a financial advisor in the group, shared how much he is learning and how his faith is being stretched and challenged through this experience. “Most Americans are very wealthy, and I think that’s one thing we can bring to the table. But we can learn so much more from [these Bolivians]. For example, just the amount of faith that they have. They obviously put God first in everything, and that’s one thing I think that I struggle with.”

Impacted by the power of prayer in Bolivian communities, Amber Morris of the group also expressed how she feels led to make changes in her family. “One thing I want to do in our family is pray together. We don’t often get on our hands and knees and pray like they do in Bolivia.”

The relationship between Hosanna Church and the Valic group is just beginning, but we are so excited to see the transformation that God has in store in both Bolivia and the United States.

If you, your family, or your church are interested in a similar transformational partnership, contact Jen McHugh at Jen.McHugh@BrightHope.org.

Read more stories from Bright Hope's Ally Connection newsletter.