PEER ServantsQuarterly

Partnering for EconomPartnering for Economic Empowerment and Renewal
Transforming Lives
Investor Edition September 2011
Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
Meet Florence Achia
The Walk - Global and Doorstep
Reciprocity 2011 - Exceeding Expectations
Amazing Volunteers
Strengths of the Materially Poor
President's Update
2011 Walk for Economic Empowerment

September 17, 2011 


October 1, 2011

Walk Where You Are  
Anytime prior to
 December 15, 2011

Register, create your own webpage, form teams and more at website
Quick Links

PEER Servants Logo - Investor Panel


Boston Walk for Economic Empowerment

September 17, 2011


Chicago Walk for Economic Empowerment

October 1, 2011


Haiti Trip

 Early October, 2011


Africa Trip

 Late October/Early November 2011


Philippines Trip

 November 12-20, 2011


For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

II Chronicles 16:9a (NIV)

Prayer Requests
Praise to God for Florence Achia, her dependence on Him, and the inspiration she has become to many

Praise to God for Reciprocity 2011 and the role it played in encouraging and equipping many to follow that much more closely in the footsteps of Jesus

Blessings on our remaining 2011 Walks for Economic Empowerment and that they will raise significant resources to empower the materially poor

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (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 the mornings of Saturday, September 17 (Boston) or October 1 (Chicago)?  Join us for our Walk for Economic Empowerment.  Details below.
Florence Achia - 2011 Lydia Award Winner
Uganda - Florence AchiaMeet Florence Achia from Arua, Uganda and you cannot help but be instantly inspired by what one person, depending on God and given access to opportunity, can do to overcome huge obstacles.

Northern Uganda is a place of great beauty with very gracious people, but it has been a very challenging place to live with the destabilizing presence of the Lord's Resistance Army and the vast majority of the population living on $2 or less a day.  Imagine in that setting being a woman who is chronically disabled and having your husband die prematurely, leaving you widowed with five children.

What was Florence Achia's response?  Prayer and action.  "Prayer makes work easier and more successful," notes Florence.  "We as a family pray for the business every day." God answered her prayer in part by giving her access to CAFECC, a Ugandan Christian microfinance institution, and PEER Servants' partner.

Now, by accessing loans (starting at $150) and basic business training from CAFECC, Florence has realized her dream - establishing a secondhand clothing business.  It not only provides for her family, but allows her to Florence with Orphans She Helpsemploy others, give to her church, and bless others in her community, especially others who are disabled.  "I currently help a small group of 25 orphans of which most of their parents died of HIV/AIDS and some of the children have tested positive."

PEER Servants recently recognized Florence as the very deserving recipient of the 2011 Lydia Award, recognizing the entrepreneurs who are using their businesses, like Lydia of Acts 16, to bless their community.  She is one more example of what can happen when we provide someone with a small amount of capital, basic business training, access to opportunity, and lots of prayer! 
The Walk Goes Global and to Your Doorstep
      Walk for Economic Empowerment Since its inception in 2006, PEER Servants' Walk for Economic Empowerment has raised $250,000.  Every dime has gone to empower the materially poor.  So, we're excited that we have our Boston Walk taking place Saturday, September 17 and our Chicago Walk taking place Saturday, October 1.  If you're in those necks of the woods, please join us - click here to get more information, register, or sponsor a walker.

But what we are REALLY excited about this year is that the Walk has gone global AND right to your doorstep through our "Walk Where You Are" option.  You don't have to make the trek to Boston or Chicago -- you can do it wherever you are in the world, including from your front door, and on a day that works best for you.  Consider the following walkers...

Sonja Trask Dave and Betsy Ryder

Dave and Betsy Ryder 

and Sonja Trask are vacationing on September 17 - Dave and Betsy in Istanbul, Turkey and Sonja in Costa Rica - but they will gather their traveling companions and "walk where they are".  Click on their name or picture to read more on their Walk fundraising page.

Joshibia Vimalathasan 5-year old Joshibia Vimalathasan has never participated in a Walk, but when she heard her father, one of the senior staff people of our Sri Lankan microfinance partner, talk about what others do to raise money to help the people of Sri Lanka, she wanted in!  Joshibia will walk 5 km with her father on October 9 in Sri Lanka and be the first of our microfinance partners to join us in raising funds through the Walk!  Click on her name or picture to help her help her people.

Doug and Mayme Engelsen Doug and Mayme Engelsen are parents to the PEER Servants' President, so they have been participating in the Boston Walk for years.  But Boston seemed a bit far in 2011, so the "walk where you are " option allows them to walk right from their doorstep.  They'll be clad in their official walk shirts and praying for PEER Servants and the materially poor as they go.

Richard and Abigail Kinyua Richard and Abigail Kinyua are also Walk regulars and have raised thousands to empower the materially poor of northern Uganda, but Abigail's grandparents are celebrating 40 years of marriage the weekend of the Boston Walk, so they'll be walking where they are a few days later and empowering the people of northern Uganda as they do.

You, too, can offer opportunity to those living on $2 or less a day right from your doorstep.  It takes 10 minutes and $20 to register online and set up your fundraising page and you'll be on your way to empowering the materially poor with 100% of the funds you raise going to one of our microfinance partners (you can choose which one or leave that up to us).  Choose your site and your date (any Walks through December 15, 2011 will count towards our 2011 Walk).  We'll send you Walk T-Shirts, micro-entrepreneur stories, and prayer requests to make your steps that much more powerful.  Please join us in our 2011 Walk for Economic Empowerment -- it's never been easier, and with our partners now serving over 150,000 clients, never been more needed!  Thank you. 
Reciprocity 2011 - Exceeding ExpectationsReciprocity 2011
We're more than a month away now from Reciprocity 2011, PEER Servants' global microfinance conference, and still amazed at what God did in our midst.  140 people came from 15+ countries to, as our theme verse Romans 1:12 says, "be mutually encouraged by each other's faith."  We came away strengthened by God's Word, inspired by each other, and better equipped to implement our respective microfinance organizations around the world.

Reciprocity 2011 - Kopano Cup

Team Eurasia hoisting the Kopano Cup after a hard-fought win.

We also came away a bit bruised!  Every global microfinance conference, we hold the Kopano (Unity) World Cup of Soccer.  This year's match was one for the ages as Team Eurasia defended its 2007 Cup and edged out a talented Team Africa squad in three penalty kick overtimes!  God seemed to enjoy adding His own sense of humor by allowing Duza Baba, a Nigerian playing for Team Eurasia, to make the winning goal.  Word has it he may never be allowed back on the African continent.


Reverend Oscar Muriu led a great line-up of speakers and preached powerfully on unity, the body, mustard seed faith, and our greatest risk as risk managers - sin.  Professor Ron Chua from the Asian Institute of Management led two full days of  intensive seminars on helping each partner establish a strategic growth plan.  We opened the conference celebrating the very top microentrepreneurs served by our partners and closed it on a tour of key places in the American Missionary Movement, reminding us of how God is accomplishing the Great Commission in our day as churches around the world are being empowered economically.


Reciprocity 2011 was the highest rated of our three global microfinance conferences.  What was at the very top of the ratings by our attendees?  Staying in the homes of many of you!  To come from around the world and be welcomed into the home of an American is something many of our microfinance partners will be talking about for a long time.  Thank you for allowing God to work through you to help make Reciprocity 2011 the special conference that it was.  Of course we also have an amazing group of PEER Servants volunteers who gave so much of their time and resources to pull this off -- it was one of their many shining moments!  And we thank our corporate sponsors, especially Boston Bean and Whole Foods, who gave so generously to support the conference.  Take a look below to see all of the corporate sponsors and join us in supporting their businesses.


Reciprocity 2011 - Corporate Sponsors  

Another Amazing PEER Servants Volunteer - Sandy Smith
Sandy SmithPulling off a conference the likes of Reciprocity 2011 would be a challenge for virtually any organization.  The fact that it was ALL VOLUNTEERS who worked on Reciprocity 2011 suggests there were some pretty amazing volunteers.  The "amazingest" -- Sandy Smith!

Sandy oversaw the Travel and Welcome Team.  Imagine getting 140 people from around the world to one place at one time.  There were United States visas to be applied for and airplane routings to be ticketed.  Sandy and her team got everyone to Boston -- God got everyone there without any major flight mishaps and with all luggage intact!  Then try to house and transport nearly half of those 140 in 30+ homes in the Boston area.  With God's help it all went as close to perfect as we could have imagined.  To top it off, after almost two inspiring but exhausting weeks together, Sandy and her team got everyone back to their different parts of the world as well.

But that's not all.  See all of those corporate logos in the previous article?  Sandy contacted many of them and secured their sponsorship of the conference.  She also assisted with the conference's opening event, the Annual Lydia Awards Celebration.  And she was even back to her "regular" PEER Servants role - preparing foundation submissions -- before August had become September.

These hundred or so PEER Servants volunteers are something else.  Even among them, Sandy really stuck out this summer as one very passionate about serving Jesus with all of her heart and strength.  As a result, the ends of the earth were blessed.  Thank you, Sandy, for your inspiring life of sacrifice!
Strengths of the Materially Poor - Dependency
Most of us strive to be very independent.  We often stray from those who we think have become too dependent on us.  Unfortunately, our pursuit of independence often carries over to our relationship with God.  We prefer to do things in our own strength, and then often get frustrated and even give up when we don't see much fruit come from our efforts.

Such is generally not the case with the materially poor.   They HAVE to be very dependent on God and each other.  As we have come alongside of them, we have been inspired by how they live out II Corinthians 12:9, willing to make God's power perfect in their weakness.  Indeed, as the verse suggests, it is clear that as a result, Christ's power rests on them.

The materially poor are also quick to admit and exercise their dependency on each other.  The result - they have rich community the likes of which we dream and preach about, but rarely experience.  When is the last time you were in need?  And when is the last time you were willing to admit that need to a brother or sister who might be able to help you with that need?

The good news is we, too, can be dependent on God and each other and be all the richer for it.  Have you ever considered doing something for God that you in your strength could never accomplish?  Try it!  And perhaps in doing that you will HAVE to also become dependent on others, swallowing your pride, and being embraced by those God has prepared to strengthen you each step of the way.

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.
Todd EngelsenPresident's Update
What a summer! It has been wonderfully exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.  We were dependent on many of you. Thank you for being faithful.

As you may know, one of our corporate values in PEER Servants is "the power of prayer".  As we saw Reciprocity 2011 unfolding and realized God was pouring out His presence in a very special way, we quickly concluded that what we were witnessing was more than the sum of our individual efforts.  One of our volunteers, Katarina Lafortune, had mobilized a faithful prayer team that was praying many times each week for many months leading up to Reciprocity 2011.  God saw that their hearts were fully committed to Him, and He blessed all of us as a result.

I grew up watching my share of Billy Graham Crusades.  I was so impressed with the number of people who would come forward to become followers of Jesus at the end of each evening.  My mother would often remind us that teams of people had been praying for months for that evening. Their faithful prayers were leading to the salvation of human souls.

Can I add one item to your prayer list?  Please pray that we will always keep the power of prayer central to all we do at PEER Servants.  We have a huge battle on our hands and we are going against a powerful adversary who loves to use material poverty as a means of keeping people far from God and the abundant life He wants for them.  Pray that our eyes will always rest on the One who is greater than he who is in the world.

If you'd like to join us in corporate prayer, we would LOVE to have you.  We meet in person (Boston area), over the phone, and via the internet.  Click here to contact me and we'll let you know your options to join us.

Thank you for partnering with us.

Serving together,