Partnering for EconomPartnering for Economic Empowerment and Renewal
|Investor Edition ||March 2011 |
Save the Date!
2011 Walk for Economic Empowerment
September 17, 2011
April 16, 2011
October 1, 2011
May 21, 2011
Walk Where You Are Anytime prior to
December 15, 2011
Register, create your own webpage, form teams and more at website
July 23, 2011
Concert for Economic Empowerment
April 2, 2011
Annual Celebration Dinner/Lydia Awards
July 23-30, 2011
"Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
He did what was right and just,
so all went well with him.
He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?"
declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 22:15-16 (NIV)
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
P.S. -- Doing anything this Saturday evening, April 2? if you're in the Boston area, join us for our free Concert for Economic Empowerment. Details below.
|Free Concert, Anyone?
|Almost everyone enjoys a free concert, especially one that offers our worship up to God and empowers the materially poor. Our first Concert for Economic Empowerment does just that.
Please join us for this mix of music and microfinance as worship leaders from Boston-area churches join together to make a very enjoyable and meaningful evening.
Here are the details:
- When: Saturday, April 2, 7-9 pm
- Where: Grace Community Church (275 Billerica Road, Chelmsford)
- How Much: Free! With an offering where 100% will go to our microfinance partners
- What Else: Refreshments!
Add to this that a donor will match the first $10,000 raised from the Concert for scholarships to our upcoming global microfinance conference (read next article), and this becomes a very special night. Please spread the word by printing and posting either/both posters: Poster 1 and/of Poster 2. Please come, get the word out to family and friends, and bring a carload!
|Join Us - Global Microfinance Conference
|Interested in learning more about how you or your church could get involved with Christian microfinance? Have a week or a few days this summer to invest and have a great time while doing it? Well, imagine this...
- being one of 100-150 in an intimate setting where you could rub shoulders with microfinance practitioners from around the world.
- receiving spiritual challenges and technical information from the likes of Pastor Oscar Muriu (Senior Pastor, Nairobi Chapel, Nairobi, Kenya), Steve Corbett (co-author of "When Helping Hurts"), Peter Greer (President, HOPE International), and other plenary and workshop speakers.
- participating in wonderful worship, fantastic fellowship, and all in Boston and the picturesque Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
This could be your reality this summer if you join us for Reciprocity 2011, PEER Servants' microfinance partner conference, held July 23-30 in New England (Boston and then Alton Bay, NH). Interested? We've made your next steps as easy as 1-2-3.
- Need more information? Check out the PEER Servants/Reciprocity 2011 Youtube video and the Reciprocity 2011 website.
- Think it's a go? Register here.
- Need some help raising funds to cover the registration fee or making it to Boston? We've made it real easy using FirstGiving to set up your own Reciprocity 2011 fundraising webpage.
We want YOU at Reciprocity 2011! There are day options if you can't make it for the entire week. You'll have a fantastic time, and it could be just what you and/or your church need to take the next steps in getting involved in Christian microfinance.
|Indian Christian MFI Becomes 10th Partner
|PEER Servants is very pleased to announce that we have added the Christian Service Society (CSS) of Kolkata (Calcutta), India as the 10th indigenous Christian microfinance institution to our partner network
CSS serves almost 18,000 of the materially poorest people in the outskirts of Kolkata. They operate very effectively such that they not only cover all of their costs of operation, but they generate a surplus. Given their vision for holistic community transformation, they can invest that surplus beyond Christian microfinance into programs like two childrens homes (one housing 50 girls and the other 25 boys), veterinarian services, and more. Led by Executive Director Himadri Munshi, CSS is a great witness of Jesus' love to the people of West Bengal, India.
Himadri Munshi, CSS Executive Director, with CSS Clients
What can PEER Servants do to help CSS realize their vision? We can help them better market themselves to the global community and surpass their goal of 25,000+ clients served within the next few years. We can help them operate more efficiently with appropriate applications of technology. And we can offer a means for them to network with other indigenous Christian MFIs as they all share their successes and challenges.
CSS will help PEER Servants by giving us another example of how to effectively follow Jesus in an environment where it can be very difficult to do so. We also look forward to rubbing shoulders with people who have taken Matthew 6:33
very seriously and becoming that much better at putting God's Kingdom first in our own lives. Finally, we look forward to working closely with other international partners of CSS, namely Endpoverty.org, and trying to complement the relationship they have already established by walking many years together.
|Entrepreneur in Focus|
Dinusha Spices, South Asia (SL)
Ranjani Siriyalatha, Dinusha Spices
Ranjani Siriyalatha is one of approximately a thousand clients served by PEER Servants' South Asian (SL) microfinance partner. She is the proud owner of Dinusha Spices, manufacturer of high-quality red rice flour, chili powder, turmeric, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
Ranjani used a series of loans and business training from her microfinance institution to increase her manufacturing, marketing, and distribution capacity. What started as a very small business operating only in her own village has now expanded to serving 7 villages, 50 shops, and 200 customers within a 25 km radius of her home. Her monthly income has increased from approximately $50/month to approximately $150/month.
Ranjani can now send her two daughters to a good school, provide full-time employment for her husband, and part-time employment for others. The close relationship between the Christian staff and Ranjani, a Buddhist, has allowed the love of Christ to shine through clearly in culturally appropriate ways. She dreams of growing her business to provide quality spices to much of her island nation.
|Strengths of the Materially Poor - Prayer
Have you ever heard a brother or sister in Christ who lives on $2 or less a day pray? Have you ever heard a father pray for funds to send his child to school? Have you ever heard a mother pray for a sick child when there is no affordable medical care available? Have you ever heard a child pray that their mom or dad may be blessed by God so that they don't have to struggle so much? These are some of the prayers of our materially poor brothers and sisters in Christ.
Their prayers are genuine. Their prayers are lifted up with a believing heart that God is faithful and fully capable of answering their prayers. Their prayers are full of thanksgiving for all that God has provided for them. Their prayers are lifted up frequently and fervently. And, amazingly, their prayers are often focused on the needs of others more than themselves.
We have much to learn from the materially poor in the area of prayer. They are quick to confess that they are utterly dependent on God. We can allow our material well-being and our busy schedules to keep us from a full appreciation of that basic truth. Our prayer meetings are one of the least-attended events of the church; theirs are often packed with people expecting to enter the presence of the Almighty. Is it any wonder why we read so much in the Bible about God's love for the poor?
As we replace our material lenses with Biblical lenses, we come to see anew and appreciate just how much God has given the materially poor and why partnering with them is so strategic in extending His Kingdom. God has given us the privilege of being a means through which He may choose to answer the prayers of the materially poor today.
|President's Update |
If you're getting this newsletter (and if you have made it thus far in reading it!), you are one who is really concerned about and no doubt doing much to empower the materially poor. Thank you! At PEER Servants, we want to give you many opportunities to efficiently and effectively empower some of the 40% in our world who live on $2 or less per day. That's why I am so excited about what lies ahead in 2011.
I have dreamed for years of having some kind of Concert for Economic Empowerment and this Saturday, April 2, will see that become a reality. Music is a great means of opening our spirits to the movement of God's Spirit. And we are very humbled and honored that some of the most gifted church worship leaders in the Boston area are freely offering their talents to empower the materially poor. I look forward to the day when this Concert will attract thousands who come together for a great evening of music and meaning. We may not quite reach there this year, but it's a beginning and one that will bring God great glory.
Our summer will be focused on Reciprocity 2011. We really would love you to join us for the whole week of July 23-30, but if that just doesn't work with your schedule, consider either of the following. On Saturday, July 23, we'll meet for our Annual Celebration Dinner at a church in the Boston area. This year we will be honored to have all of our microfinance partners with us; it will also be the night to vote for our 2011 Lydia Award (top micro-entrepreneur) winners. The following Friday, July 29, we'll close out the Reciprocity 2011 week with a late afternoon cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee and an evening closing dinner at the Wolfeboro Inn in New Hampshire. These are both wonderful opportunities to meet our amazing microfinance partners.
Before you know it, there will be a little nip of fall in the air and that's a sign that our Walk for Economic Empowerment is right around the corner. This year, there are fall walks in Boston (September 17) and Chicago (October 1), but also Spring 2011 Walks in Charleston (April 16) and Columbus (May 21). If those sites or dates aren't convenient, you can walk right where you are! Check out our new FirstGiving webpage that allows you to sign up for any of these events, create your own webpage, set a fundraising goal, and form/join a team of others.
2011 is a year in which you could take even further strides in empowering the materially poor. We hope you will be able to join us for some of these opportunities to do so.
Thank you for partnering with us.