Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Couple Thousand Words from the Microfinance Site

Thanks to Audrey Williams, a student from Taylor University who spent two weeks with the Microfinance Site, we finally have some good pictures of the Microfinance Site.  Hope you enjoy them and they give you a glimpse of what life is like here!

A time of worship at our annual Mother's Day Celebration.

Playing team games in order to decide which women get to buy first
at the mini flea market we had.


Putting the puzzle pieces together as fast as they can!
A random home from Los Higos, one of the many communities
the MF site is working in.

Jesse, one of our students, and I flexing after peeling
a whole bunch of yucca at Lero's business.
Lero's husband peels yucca,
a root vegetable similar to a potato.
Ramon, Lero's son, filters some grated yucca
to get out the large chunks.

Lero grills the peeled, grated, dried, and filtered yucca into a bread/cracker called casabe.  She goes to town every morning and sells her product by simply walking door to door.
MiBanco El Tesoro

Explaining to Judy, one of our bank coordinators, some important information
about our new receipt system.

Miriam and I with Ramona at her small restaurant.
One of our associates granddaughters.
Washing the pigs at one of our associate's businesses.  

I think this sums our working relationship quite well! :)

Not even going to try and explain!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

MiBanco Quarterly - Growth

Growth!  As Americans, the word growth in relation to business generally conjures up images of an increase in sales, increase in clients, or an increase in products or services that are offered.  Within the aspect of ministry or church, it is often not much different.  Increase in converts, increase in church members, or an increase in the number of ministry sites. 

I studied accounting in college and God wired me to think in numbers so naturally I like measuring growth this way.  Numbers are black and white; they are neat and organized.  Here at the MF site, it is easy to look on paper and say that we have 11 more associates than we had at the beginning of the year.  Growth!

Yet while quantitative data is definitely an important aspect of growth (especially in relation to Microfinance), it is often not the ultimate measure of success here at the MF site.  How do we quantitatively measure whether the communities we work in are being transformed into the likeness of Christ?  When a woman thanks you because she has learned the power of saving, do we rate the associates growth on a scale of 1 to 10?  When an American student working in the site realizes that the business world is often an overlooked mission field, do we somehow give that a number and throw it onto our income statement?

Over the past several years, the MF site has grown slowly and steadily in the number of associates that we have had.  We are proud to say that we will be serving over 100 associates by the end of the year.  However, as the number of associates increase, we don’t want to lose sight of our qualitative goals.  We continually want to see that men and women within our site are being transformed into the likeness of Christ in all areas of their lives, that the American students on short term missions trips are being stretched and encountering God in a new way, and above all, that God would be glorified in every aspect of our lives.  Continue to pray that God would give the MF Site growth in all aspects of the site.