PEER ServantsQuarterly

Partnering for EconomPartnering for Economic Empowerment and Renewal
Transforming Lives
Investor Edition  December 2008 
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In This Issue
Conflict in Nigeria
Making Gift Giving Life Changing
Our Amazing Volunteers
Entrepreneur in Focus
Strengths of the Materially Poor
End of Year Giving
President's Update
Quick Links

PEER Servants Logo - Investor Panel

Spring Quarterly Training 
Saturday, March 14
Grace Chapel
Saturday, September 26
Wakefield, MA
Prayer Requests
Peace in Nigeria
Welcome to PEER Servants Quarterly News!  We thank God for your investment in us through your prayers and financial support.  We hope this provides you with a fresh, succinct update of the return on your investment!
With warm regards,
The PEER Servants Communications Team

Reverend Caleb ShadrachConflict in Nigeria  
The day after Thanksgiving, our so-called "Black Friday", the latest in the round of conflicts between Muslims and Christians broke out in Jos, Nigeria -- headquarters of Rescue Fellowship of Nigeria's Good Seed Enterprise Development, our Nigerian microfinance partner.  The latest unrest stemmed from the Muslims dissatisfaction with election results and their allegations of voter fraud.  The death toll is approaching 400.  Many churches and mosques were burned.
Reverend Caleb Shadrach, GSED Executive Secretary, reports that all GSED staff and board members are safe.  Some of GSED's clients, both Christians and Muslims, had their businesses and homes burned.  The GSED staff is contacting each client to make sure they are OK and offer what support GSED can at this time.  They are eager to be the peaceful and loving hands of Jesus at a critical time like this.
Please join all of us at PEER Servants in praying for the situation in Nigeria.  Events like this reinforce our commitment to stand with the materially poor as they are the ones who inevitably suffer the most.  We thank God for GSED and the privilege we have of partnering with them and their courageous staff and board as they go where Jesus would now be going to bring the peace and hope that only He can bring.
Joshua Muki, UgandaMaking Gift Giving Life Changing 
Joshua Muki, the Ugandan entrepreneur pictured here, changed his life and that of his family with what started as a less than $100 business loan.  With that in mind, think of the impact you could make with this year's holiday gift giving!  Instead of giving your loved ones a gift that they really don't need, honor them with the gift of a micro-loan that can change the life of someone like Joshua.
PEER Servants offers you a very easy means to do this with our Online Micro-Loan Gift Catalog.  In minutes, you can select the country you want your micro-loan gift sent to and have an electronic card sent to the person on your gift list that you'd like to honor letting them know a gift towards a micro-loan has been made in their name.  No looking for a parking spot at the mall.  No returns.  No further accumulation of "stuff."
PEER Servants will send you a tax-deductible receipt for your gift(s) and a real big "thank you" on behalf of the Joshuas in our world for whom and through whom you could make this year a very special Christmas.
Our Amazing Volunteers! 
Did you know that PEER Servants is almost all volunteers?  It's an amazing group of people who want to live out their commitment to follow Christ by offering transformation to the materially poor (while experiencing transformation themselves!).
But among these dedicated volunteers are those we honor annually with the "Basin and Towel Award" because the service they offer and the attitude with which they offer it is reminiscent of that of Christ when He washed the feet of His disciples.  Here are our 2008 Basin and Towel Award winners:
Sandy SmithSandy Smith:  Sandy wears many hats in PEER Servants - the two primary ones being attracting funds from foundations and helping manage our Team South Africa.
Valerie Boudreau in South AfricaValerie Boudreau:  Check out our 2007 Annual Report.  That was primarily the handiwork of Val Boudreau.  She does excellent work!  Next up - a revised website (coming early 2009!).
David LeachDavid Leach:  Dave is leading our efforts to support our Philippines microfinance partner with appropriate applications of technology as they serve their 100,000+ entrepreneurial clients.  He also focuses significantly on technical microfinance training of other PEER Servants volunteers.
Elizabeth YostElizabeth Yost:  Elizabeth has been the key volunteer working with our Thai partner.  She also is extremely faithful in praying for PEER Servants, our microfinance partners, and their clients -- meeting for teleconference prayer each weekday at 6 am.
Scott SternerScott Sterner:  "Professor Scott" wrote a number of research reports in 2008 providing technical guidance to partners and volunteers while offering his "Christian Micro-Enterprise Development 101" course and serving on our Lydia Award Committee that selects the top entrepreneurs.
Grace LoveGrace Love:  Grace started the year as our South Africa Relationship Manager but transitioned midyear to the Director of Volunteer Relations.  In that capacity she managed the first Volunteer Training Camp and has significantly improved our Quarterly Volunteer Training.
Andrew MahonAndrew Mahon:  Andrew is the Uganda Relationship Manager and led a team of PEER Servants volunteers to Uganda in June 2008.  Since then he has commissioned a technical team of PEER Servants volunteers to provide intensive services to strengthen the positon of that microfinance partner.
Join us in thanking God for these amazing volunteers!
Fernando & Son, Sri LankaEntrepreneur in Focus 
Fernando & Family
Coconut Fiber Manufacturer, South Asia 
Fernando has an amazing business of manufacturing brooms, rugs, and brushes from coconut fiber.  When he got his business idea back in 2004, he applied and was approved for a loan from PEER Servants' South Asian microfinance partner and started the business in his home.
He quickly repaid the first loan and took a second to build a shed next to his house so that the business could expand.  By having access to larger and larger amounts of credit, he has been able to expand the business and he now distributes his products in 100 villages.
Sadly, Fernando and his family have been displaced from their home due to civil war.  Yet they are working hard to keep the business going.  It had been difficult to get the raw materials like tin until the day Fernando noticed many tin cans in the streets.  He started collecting them, and soon the children in the neighborhood followed suit.  Fernando now provides school fees scholarships to the children who help collect the cans.  He is concurrently reducing his costs, greening the environment, and helping educate children!
Fernando has ten family members, including his two widowed daughters, financially dependent on him.  They all help in some capacity with the family business.  Fernando also employs two others outside the family and teaches unemployed local youth to make coconut fiber products.  He is a dedicated follower of Christ in a country with a small and sometimes persecuted Christian minority and rejoices that God has blessed him so that he can bless others.
Strengths of the Materially Poor - Vision
La Forestal Church, Mexico CityWe have now witnessed it countless times.  The materially poor having hope, seeing potential, casting a vision when we saw next to nothing.
We were reminded of that on our July 2008 trip to Mexico City where we worked closely with Guillermo and Angelica, Program Directors for La Buena Semilla.  LBS was PEER Servants' first microfinance partner -- starting back in 1991.  It was started to complement a church plant in the area, and the church at the time met in a very small makeshift little building that looked like it could have slipped away in the mud with a heavy rain.
Guillermo and Angelica's decision to follow Christ was tied to one of their close relatives getting a loan from LBS.  They started attending the church and gained a vision for how LBS and the church could reach out and bring transformation to their community, La Forestal, in the northernmost section of Mexico City.  Shortly thereafter Guillermo and Angelica assumed the role of LBS Program Directors.
Today, the makeshift church structure has been replaced with a concrete three-story building that is packed every Sunday.  La Forestal has undergone a very attractive facelift.  And Guillermo and Angelica have vision for extending the transformation they have witnessed in La Forestal to many other colonias throughout Mexico City.
What wonderful vision.  Just one more example of the strengths of the materially poor.

End of Year Giving 
Many of you give to PEER Servants in December each year and we really thank God for you!  Your gift can qualify for a 2008 tax deduction as long as it is postmarked by December 31, 2008 and mailed to us at PEER Servants, PO Box 258, Woburn, MA  01801.  In addition, you can give securely online right up until the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve via our website at PEER Servants Online Giving.  Keep in mind that 100% of your contribution will go to one of our microfinance partners unless you specify otherwise.
We certainly understand if you would like to give but are not in a financial position to do so - we haven't stopped thanking God since the last time you gave!  And there are ways you can still give to PEER Servants without sending us a dime -- like using Goodsearch for your online internet searches or online shopping (just note "PEER Servants" as your cause in the dropdown menu), or doing your Amazon shopping by accessing their website via our website (and we will automatically get a contribution of at least 4% of your purchase price).
Thanks for your generosity!
Todd EngelsenPresident's Update 
It's official.  On Monday, December 1, the experts called it a recession.
For those of us who choose to follow Christ, this could be our time to shine.  Our hope, our foundation, and our peace are not in our material possessions.  They are in the One who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and who has promised to never leave us or forsake us.
One of the countless lessons I have learned from the materially poor is how rich they really are despite possessing next to nothing.  Poverty is wanting what you don't have; wealth is valuing what you do have.  So, perhaps in these economically troubled times, we will become richer people.  Valuing family, friends, and other relationships that we have been neglecting for some time now.  Reaching out to those in real need.
If we can shine like that during these times, we may become much like that shining star some two millenia ago that guided the materially poor and rich to the Prince of Peace.
Don't miss out on your opportunity to redeem the recession.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Serving together,