'The Hole In Our Gospel' inspires football coach to sell his home

My email inbox is notorious for housing second-hand articles from my colleagues about new technology, philanthropy, trends in new media, or nonprofit stories -- my typical work-related interests. But last week, several work friends sent me the UGA Sports Blog article, "Mark Richt sells Lake Hartwell property."

When I first started reading it, I was thinking that my colleagues who sent me this must think I'm an avid Georgia sports fan, even though I went to college in California, and have never even visited Georgia (nor do I keep up with college football). My short attention span had just about given up on the article when I read this paragraph about half way down:

“Within the last year, I read this book, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” written by Richard Stearns. He’s the president of World Vision U.S. I think people understand who World Vision is but, basically, they help the poor. Through their organization, you can help children, you can help build wells, you can buy them donkeys, whatever people need. World Vision helps people across the world. Well, anyway, there was a lot of statistical data in there about the amount of people that live on a dollar a day around this world. Billions of people. So I’m reading this book and it really affected me. It helped me realize that what we have is way more than we need and that our ability to give is hindered by this property. I guess that’s the best way to tell you. We just wanted to be in a better position to give and bless people that don’t have anything. We felt like this was one way to be able to do that.”

Mark's story about selling his home is unique, but it isn't an isolated example. We hear from people every week -- teachers, lawyers, recording artists, entrepreneurs, bloggers, stay-at-home moms, pastors, and now, a university football coach -- via email, Facebook, and Twitter about how Rich Stearns' book changed their perspective on the world's poor and our biblical mandate to help.

I also got word last week from Rich Stearns, who was in Zambia at the time this article was published. "You never know how God is going to work in someone's life," he said. "Coach Richt called my office a few months ago, and we chatted for some time. He told me that he had read my book and was considering how he might respond. This is wonderful news."

If you haven't had the privilege of reading "The Hole In Our Gospel" yourself, maybe Mark Richt's story is just the inspiration you need. I would agree with his endorsement: “I’d challenge anybody to read this book and not be affected by it."


    Come and spaek to me about this! I have more info for you on Coach Richt!!


    I wrote the following to encourage donations to help families devastated by the tornadoes this year. Please help World Vision as they help those families through this difficult time. - Eric


    By Eric Visconti (for the victims of the tornadoes of 2011)

    The warning came,
    I could not hear it,
    Over howling wind,
    Within the night,
    It grew darker still,
    Walls shaking violently,
    As we ran below ground,
    My family running for safety,
    From the terrible sound,
    As Hell rose into the air,
    To look me in the eye,
    Roaring without remorse,
    I could not hear the shouts,
    Of my family so near,
    Our hearts racing against time,
    As the force descended upon us,
    And with a shattering sound,
    I knew it had taken my home.
    As soon as the horror passed,
    I ventured into desolation,
    The scene lit in fragments,
    By the arcing of power,
    Remaining in dangled lines,
    As I stumbled through debris,
    Toward the sound of muffled cries,
    Helping whom I could reach,
    We gathered ourselves together,
    To see what could be done,
    As we worked into the sunrise,
    I could see the answer from God,
    People clearing the road,
    So that help could get through,
    From the nearby towns,
    They came with what they had,
    They came from the outside world,
    In pickup trucks and blue jeans,
    With hand tools and trailers,
    Strong hands with stronger hearts,
    Showing me we are not forsaken,
    Because God sent them here,
    As love shines the brightest,
    When lives are torn.

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