God has preceded us

One of the primary beliefs of For The Love of Missions is that God is working in all communities. We believe He is moving in people and circumstances in all places all the time. He is not waiting on us to come, but when we do come we can listen and follow where He is already moving and join Him there.

This is a practice of spiritual discipline to be patient and attentive to His spirit. We haven’t always got it right, but we continue to try. All of our current programs – mentoring and scholarships, economic development,  community centers – have grown as we see and follow where God is moving.

Can you see where God is moving ahead of you in your life – family, work, ministry, everywhere- so you can listen and follow where God is has preceded you?

The families in the mentoring program recently learned to make floor cleaning detergent. The objective of this lesson was to empower the families to clean and maintain their homes. As their dignity is increased as they care for their living environment. This activity taught them the skills to create a budget friendly cleaner for their own use. But also, many commented they could make more and sell it to their neighbors for additional income. What seems like a simple activity has potential for great impact.  God is often working in what seems small! Be encouraged in all that you do in God’s upside down kingdom!

Another really interesting blog post. Bob Lupton is the author of Toxic Charity and Charity Detox and founder of Focused Community Strategies. He writes here about a new and needed focus in mission activities. While For the Love of Missions does not fit into all these check boxes, it is always good to get confirmation that our discipleship efforts are grounded in areas supported by experts!

Remember Your Leaders

                                        “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.                                                         Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”                     Hebrews 13:7

These are 3 of the mentors in the Zone 3 Mentoring Program. All 3 of these leaders grew up in the garbage dump community. They designed a program to disciple and transform this community one family at a time. They care deeply about the people in this community and are challenging the handout mentality that is prevalent here. They are investing in the lives of families and youth in the same way someone once invested in them.

The next step in the vision these leaders have developed is to provide scholarships to 15 youth in their program. You can support this work by giving today. With the help of a generous donor who has offered to match every donation until June 3, we are hoping to have the scholarships fully funded. Right now we are at 44% of our goal. Give Today! give.fortheloveofmissions.org

Making Disciples through Economic Development

In all For the Love of Missions does, we partner with Christians leading in their own communities. This is Javier and his wife Silvia. While Javier is the small business owner who received the first loan in For the Love of Missions Economic Development program, he and his wife are also worship leaders in their church.

For the Love of Missions sees that there are many ways to make disciples of Christ. One we are pursuing is building relationships with Christian business people and empowering and strengthening their businesses. The benefit is not only increased income in their community but the business leaders can use their influence to disciple their employees, their customers, and their community.

You can support this program by giving today give.fortheloveofmissions.org                                 Every donation will be 100% matched through June 3.

SME’s and Poverty Alleviation

One of the biggest challenges in areas of material poverty is availability and access to stable jobs. This affects all parts of a community because with little income coming in all businesses suffer. One of the contributors to this lack of stable employment is that many in areas of material poverty are micro businesses which employ one person and have little opportunity to grow into a business that hires more people.

On the other hand, more developed economies are built on small and medium sized business.

Chad Jordan wrote in his book Three Jobs, “SMEs are the universal building blocks of any economy. The United States is a prime example. Business Insider reports that 60-80% of new jobs in the U.S. come from small businesses [SMEs], and that 57% of the United States’ workforce is employed by small business with less than 500 employees. The biggest economy in the world is propped up by small business. Even further, research states that more than 51% [or higher] of the GDPs of so called “developed” countries are composed of SMEs, while only 16% of the GDPs of emerging nations are composed of SMEs.”

So what is preventing small and medium businesses to develop and grow in countries like Guatemala? For one things, there is a lack of banking options for this size business. With a heavy international emphasis on microfinance, SME finance has been overlooked. Small and Medium Enterprises are limited by high interest rates and unreasonable application and collateral requirements. This size business owner doesn’t have access to needed capital to grow their business and hire more employees.

For the Love of Missions jumped into attempting to meet this need in Guatemala. After building a relationship with a leather artisan in Antigua who employs 5 people, For the Love of Missions financed a loan intended to improve the infrastructure of the workshop, purchase new equipment and raw materials. As business improves for this small enterprise, new products will be developed, new employees hired and trained, and the local economy strengthened.