PEER ServantsQuarterly

Partnering for EconomPartnering for Economic Empowerment and Renewal
Transforming Lives

Merry Christmas!
Blessings on you and your family as we celebrate the birth of Jesus

Investor Edition December 2011
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In This Issue
Another Christmas Gift from God
Great Opportunities
Amazing Volunteers
Strengths of the Materially Poor
President's Update
The vision of PEER Servants is to enable tens of thousands of the materially poor and non-poor to experience economic, social, and spiritual transformation.
Quick Links

PEER Servants Logo - Investor Panel


Haiti Trip

January 2012 


South Asia Trip

 February 2012 


Concert for Economic Empowerment

March 2012 


Philippines Trip

 April 21-29, 2012


Annual Lydia Awards Celebration

May/June 2012


Boston Walk for Economic Empowerment

September 29, 2012



Interested in more information?  Click here to contact us.  


The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
   to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

Prayer Requests
Praise to God for the opportunities PEER Servants has to extend God's Kingdom

Prayer for the financial resources needed to pursue those opportunities

Praise for volunteers like Elie Lafortune that enable PEER Servants to effectively serve our microfinance partners

Prayer that PEER Servants would become more vulnerable and take huge steps of faith in extending God's Kingdom

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47 (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. --
We are very grateful to many of you who donate to PEER Servants at this time of year.  Please note that we will issue a 2011 tax receipt for any donation given online or postmarked by December 31, 2011.  To give securely online using a credit card or Paypal, please click here.  Thank you!
Another Christmas Gift from God
Uganda - Florence AchiaSome people seem almost bigger than life before you meet them.  Then, when you meet them in person, you are all the more amazed at their humility.  Such was the case with Florence Achia.

You may recall Florence was the winner of PEER Servants' 2011 Lydia Award.  Though widowed with five children in Northern Uganda, she established a successful secondhand clothing business that is now providing for her family, employing others, and enabling Florence to bless the poorest of the poor in her community.

When five PEER Servants volunteers recently visited CAFECC, our Northern Ugandan microfinance partner, meeting Florence was one of the highest priorities.  Florence had experienced about as much misfortune in life as one can handle, but in walked a very confident, vibrant woman.  As the team engaged her in conversation, they marveled at her competence and concern for others.  Florence beamed.  "My life is much better now," she noted, "and I am in a position to help others."  She had recently expanded the square meters of her business site and was doing even more to serve in her church and support a local orphanage for children who have lost both parents to AIDS.  "I thank Jesus for CAFECC and you people," added Florence.  Once a Muslim, Florence was now a close follower of Jesus.

The Florences of the world are one of the best Christmas gifts we could ever give to Jesus and one of the best gifts He gives to us.  Her life has been transformed through the services offered by CAFECC.  As we get to know her better, her life is now transforming us as we long to follow Jesus and truly depend on Him as much as she does. 
Great Opportunities for Extending the Kingdom
2011 has been a fantastic year for us at PEER Servants.  As we prepare to step into 2012, we do so with a humble sense of expectation that God is going to do even more through us to extend His Kingdom.  It is His work, and all glory goes to Him.  Here, through pictures, are some of the opportunities that lie ahead...

Fernando & Son, Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka,
after much prayer on the part of many and perseverance on the part of the local staff, YGRO-HEED has been given permission from the local government official to re-open their largest branch.  The branch had been closed by the government for over two years.  The loan capital it once had is now being used to serve materially poor clients in other branches.  One of PEER Servants' key goals in 2012 will be to help our Sri Lankan partner raise tens of thousands of dollars to re-open this branch and serve hundreds of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian clients in the name of Jesus.

CCT/Philippines Malungon Community Center
In the Philippines, PEER Servants is partnering with The Center for Community Transformation (CCT) to expand their microfinance branches into community centers.  Pictured here is the plan for one in Malungon, Mindanao made from bamboo.   These community centers will allow CCT to complement the microfinance services (offered primarily to women) with vocational training to men, pre-schools for young children, health clinics for the whole family, and churches planted for the whole community.  CCT planted 33 churches in 2011 and is very committed to proclaiming the gospel in word and deed. 

Haitian Leaders - Douilly Vilbert and Christon Domond
In Haiti, ACLAM would like to grow beyond the 5,000+ clients it is currently serving, with a particular focus on serving regions outside of Port-au-Prince to support decentralization efforts within the country.  It will do so with what Haiti really needs -- Haitian leadership and Haitian vision.  Pictured here are Christon Domond (ACLAM Executive Director, right) and Douilly Vilbert (ACLAM Microfinance Program Director, left).   

And that's barely the beginning.  Through God's grace, PEER Servants will help launch a new microfinance program in the poorest province in Zambia while supporting the ongoing growth of our other microfinance partners in India, Moldova, Northern Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, and Peru.

Our 2012 theme is simply "Following Jesus."  We are really looking forward to working closely with our dedicated volunteers to appreciate more of what that means for our daily lives.  We'll share some of our insights along the way and welcome you to join us on the adventure.  Thank you for the investment you are making in extending God's Kingdom through PEER Servants, our ten microfinance partners, and the 150,000+ clients they serve. 
Another Amazing PEER Servants Volunteer - Elie Lafortune
Elie LafortuneOver 1/3 of PEER Servants volunteers are originally from the regions in which we partner.  They are extremely strategic in not only making certain we partner as effectively as possible, but enriching the experience for the other volunteers in PEER Servants.  Such is certainly the case for Elie Lafortune.

Elie was born in Haiti.  He has a love for and understanding of Haiti that will always exceed what anyone not from Haiti could offer.  His credentials are extremely impressive -- an MBA from a top business school, a further Masters degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, and work experience that includes being the former World Relief Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Elie now provides consulting services to some of the largest international development agencies in the world, and he does a great job at it.

Within PEER Servants, Elie volunteers as the Relationship Manager for ACLAM, our Haitian microfinance partner. In October, he was one of three PEER Servants volunteers that went to Port-au-Prince to work with ACLAM in establishing the outline for a five-year strategic plan that will, Lord willing, allow ACLAM to become one of the leading providers of holistic Christian microfinance services in the country.  Elie has a vision for developing and supporting Haitian leaders so that they, with God's help, can chart the course for the future of their country.

Elie is just one example of many of how God has blessed PEER Servants with volunteers who are brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world and bring fantastic qualifications to effectively serve our microfinance partners and their materially poor clients. 
Strengths of the Materially Poor - Vulnerability
How, you may wonder, can vulnerability be considered a strength?  Shouldn't we be doing all we can to decrease vulnerability, especially of the materially poor?

The answer is, of course, yes -- we should be doing all we can to limit the vulnerability of the materially poor.  Satan can use vulnerability to lead some to make decisions they soon regret in the interest of mere survival.  The unprecedented levels of human trafficking we see in our day and age are constant reminders of how vulnerable many feel in our world.  Christian microfinance is one of the most effective means at empowering families to have what they need so that their young daughters and sons are not as prone to become the next victims of human trafficking.

But many of our materially poor brothers and sisters in Christ allow their vulnerability to lead to something very positive -- utter dependence on God.  From that flows an intimacy with God that blesses many in their respective communities.  What we have witnessed among many of the Christ-following clients served by our microfinance partners is that, even as they are blessed with growth in their businesses and larger incomes, they choose to remain vulnerable to be God's agent of transformation in their communities.  Many avoid the temptation of growing comfort because they know that will ultimately take away life's greatest benefit - intimacy with God.  So they remain at the edge of serving God by empowering others around them and embracing being vulnerable.  That doesn't happen in their own power -- it happens only via God's power at work in and through them, and it's what leads to people like you and me glorifying God for their lives and the examples they set for us.

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
I often share at least one prayer request in this section of the newsletter.  Here's another one.

Pray that we at PEER Servants would learn to become more vulnerable.

Last month I was blessed to visit The Center for Community Transformation (CCT), our microfinance partner in the Philippines.  They are a remarkable organization - serving over 130,000 of the materially poor through microfinance and much more.  Every year, thousands decide to become followers of Jesus through their ministry.  They are the best organization I have ever met at extending God's Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven, even among the very poorest of the poor.

While I have visited CCT many times before, what struck me this time was how, despite their large size and being well-resourced, they remain vulnerable.  They remain at the very edge of extending God's Kingdom, depending on Him to raise up the resources needed to accomplish the vision He has given them.  As a result, men that were once homeless are now gainfully employed in construction work, street children are attending Christian boarding schools, and homeless teenage boys that were once snatching purses are now learning welding and car repair.  The good news was clearly explained to them in word and deed.  And it was such good news to them that they embraced it and started down the path of following Jesus.  As the materially non-poor Jesus followers in the Philippines witnessed what God was doing through CCT to extend His Kingdom, they came freely with their resources.  What has resulted is a modern day Acts 2:45 -- "They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need."

As we have tried to communicate to you in this newsletter, PEER Servants has opportunities like never before to be the means through which God extends His Kingdom among the materially poor and non-poor.  We sense God is calling us to step out in faith and provide our existing microfinance partners larger grants to expand their programs, take on additional partners to offer Christian microfinance to new clients, and even start to explore opportunities for partnership tangential to microfinance that will further extend God's Kingdom.  Doing so will require us to become more vulnerable.  It will lead to us increasing our dependency on God and our intimacy with Him.  Our prayer is that as we go beyond our own strength and abilities, the end result will be such that we all look on and know that only God could have done this, and that we will all give Him the glory for it.

So, please pray that we will become more vulnerable.

Have a very Merry Christmas and blessings on your 2012.  Thank you for partnering with us.

Serving together,