“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale, author and clergyman
Recently I was thinking about the fact that I would turn 50 years old soon. Yep, FIFTY – as in half a century!
I was contemplating what I’ve done in my life and what I want to do in the future. I have these thoughts often. I am truly living the dream right now but I also know that there are more dreams to come.
I want to make an impact on the world. Not to gain fame or recognition, but because I can and I should. I have the resources. I have the ability. I have the desire to make a difference in someone’s life. I want to be a light in a dark world. It has been commissioned to everyone in my tribe. My leader commanded it.
I’ve been to 18 countries and I hope to travel to more. I’ve seen poverty. I know how blessed I am and I want to do my part in showing the love of God to all. Whether it’s by giving someone a cup of cold water, supporting an orphan, helping build a school, installing a well in an impoverished community, or a host of other options, I want to make an impact in every country.
That’s right – EVERY country.
So, on that day when I was thinking to myself about goals and dreams, I had a revelation. I’d prefer to think it was God speaking, or at least, guiding my thoughts. I developed this idea called Mission 227. I want to make a significant impact in every country in the world over the next 10 years. I’d like to end my life knowing that I’ve made a difference in every country on the planet.
Mission 227: One man’s effort to change the world. I want to bless at least one person in every nation.
Beginning on September 30, 2011, my 50th birthday, I began my personal quest to make an impact in every country on the planet.
It will be a work in progress. I will lay down a few ground rules for myself (below) and I’m sure that it will be tweaked as it develops. Here are some answers to some FAQ’s that may be asked:
There are 227 nations in the world. This number is different depending on your source. The United Nations lists 193. The Traveler’s Century Club lists 321. I’m using the list on the world prayer map provided by EHC.org.
Ten years? Isn’t that a long time?
Yes. Theoretically, if I had $2270 laying around, I could write a $10 check to Compassion International, World Vision, or any number of international charitable organizations with the name of a country in the “memo” line 227 times and be done. But that’s no fun and I would have no real personal interest in it. As much as possible, I want to do research in each country, make connections with people in each country, and discover a need where I can personally participate.
Plus, I want to give more than $10 per country. Read the next question.
How do you define the term “significant impact?”
As stated above, the aim of Mission 227 is to “to make a significant impact in every country in the world over the next 10 years.” Each contribution must have some substance to it. It needs to make an impact on others. It needs to fit who I am and what I am passionate about. It must resonate with me.
Of course, this definition is subjective.
It is hard to measure significance. Jesus taught that just giving a thirsty man a cup of cold water was significant. If I feel good about my contribution, if I believe that it will make a difference in someone’s life, if I am satisfied that my small token of love will be appreciated and enjoyed, that will be enough.
My wife, Beth, and I have visited one of the children we sponsor through Compassion International. We only give $38 per month. But in the developing nation where our child lives, $38 goes a long way and it is very much appreciated. We have witnessed the things that are done with our small monthly gift. We sincerely believe that it is making a difference in our child’s life. I know from my experiences in other countries that what seems like a little to us is a lot in most nations.
From a practical standpoint, my goal in the beginning will be to invest approximately $50 each month into Mission 227. If I contribute to 2 countries per month, it will take just under 10 years to accomplish the goal. If Mission 227 takes off and gains supporters, it will happen sooner. If I write a best selling book, I can contribute more. If I win the lottery, I can contribute more. (That’s not likely since I don’t play the lottery. : ) ) Hopefully, you see where I’m going with this.
Perhaps the short answer to this question is this: I want to bless at least one person in each nation. How that blessing transpires will be part of the adventure.
What will I do?
- Contribute to a water project
- Contribute to an AIDS project
- Sponsor a child
- Support a worker/missionary
- Contribute to a school
- Buy shoes for the needy
- Provide Christmas presents for the poor
- Provide groceries for a family in need
- Teach in a school or church setting
- Help with a construction project
- Provide a loan for a small business
- Assist a medical team
What’s the point?
How much positive influence can one person make in this world? What would happen if more people committed to duplicate my mission? What if you discovered a great need in a particular place and you decided to go there – and you stayed? And you invested your life into a cause greater than yourself?
The point of Mission 227 is not to glorify myself. Not at all! The point is to demonstrate how much impact one person can have and how, if others would join me, we can make a tremendous difference in our world.
Beth and I have supported work in many countries over the years. This is who we are. I want it to be an example of how we can all make an impact on this planet when we put our minds to it.
Mission 227 is an excellent way to learn more about the world and what God is doing around the world. Part of the journey is discovery, i.e., learning, praying, reaching, and going. It should be fun, inspiring, and educational.
What are the “ground rules?”
Here’s what I have so far – in no particular order:
- I cannot simply write a check to the same organization each month, i.e., I can’t write a check to Feed The Children and put the name of a country in the “memo” line.
- I cannot give arbitrarily to a group or organization just for the sake of giving to that country. It must be something I can truly believe in and support.
- Each contribution (not necessarily a financial contribution) needs to have some substance to it. It needs to have meaning to me. It needs to fit who I am and what I am passionate about. And, of course, it needs to make an impact on others.
- I will increase my giving percentage as my income increases.
- I will not include indirect gifts, e.g., money that my church (which I financially support) gives to another country.
How can you participate?
You can simply duplicate what I do and join Mission 227. Let ‘s create a small army! I will post about Mission 227 regularly. You will know what I am doing and where. You can see where I stand as I make progress. You can support Mission 227 by telling others about it, purchasing products from my website, or even making a contribution.
There is a Facebook page that you can join and, should you decide to take on this mission too, you can share with me and others what you’re doing. Together, we can share information, stories, and experiences about our Mission 227 journey!
Subscribe to this website (above) and you’ll receive email updates. You can also follow me on Twitter @genejennings to get the latest scoop on Mission 227 too!
Parents: Think about this
What if you decided to do this as a family? What if your 10-year-old started their own Mission 227 campaign? It would be a monthly lesson on giving and selflessness. By the time they were 20, they would have made an impact in every country in the world!!
What if they kept doing it in their 20′s? 30′s? 40′s?
Young adults, what if you did this throughout your adult life and shared it with your children? What if you had already accomplished this feat 3 times before you turn my age?
Think about the possibilities. Think about duplication and multiplication. Think about systematically making an effort to make a personal impact on the world one country at a time.
I’m excited about this adventure! I would love for you to join me!