Sunday, June 03, 2012

Community-based Banking (14) Long Distance Transactions

Apostles will have links with apostles in other nations. They will also be receiving funding from their sending churches. This will be enable them to arrange transfers between people living in different nations. The money will not be sent across boarders using the traditional methods. Apostles will use a method, more akin to the transfer (halawa) systems that have widespread use in the Middle East and Asia. When someone want to make a payment in their home country, the apostle will take their local money. They will not send it to the desired recipient, but keep it for themselves. Instead, they will get someone in their sending church to credit the desired amount with the record-keeper account used by the specified recipient.

This process enables the a person in the apostles country to make a payment to someone in the apostles home country. At the same time, the home church transfers support funding to the apostle in the country they have been sent to. These two transfers take place without any money or gold having to cross the border. This is a more secure process, because the money cannot be stolen on the way. In times of persecution, it will allow transfers to take place, without a totalitarian being able to prevent the transfer or steal the money.

The amounts going each way would not need to be equal. Different amounts could go each way. The apostle and the person in the sending country would keep a record of amounts transferred each way. Frome time to time, the person in the home country would visit the apostle or the apostle would return to their home country for a break, or to encourage the people left behind. The two people would use their times together to settle the differences between the transfers one way and transfers the other way.

This process requires trust between the person in each country. Apostles will have a network of people that they trust in various countries. This network could arrange a wide variety of transfers need to support international trade and international giving. If trust broke down, this process would become unworkable. The only alternative in time of turmoil would recourse to transfers of gold or other precious metals. Gold money function when trust has broken down, but is very risky, as anything that stores value can be stolen while it is being moved from place to place.

An apostle might charge a small fee for providing this service. This would contribute to the support of their ministry. When the business grew in side, they apostle would arrange for one of the deacons in the new church to take responsibility for managing the money transfer work. The deacon would have proved that they can be trusted with money during their work with the poor. However, although the deacon would be managing the business, it would still be relying on the trust being the apostles and colleagues in their sending church.

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