Plans, Planes and Presents.

The past month has been packed with a lot of exciting things and since I know you’re eager to read the details, I won’t make you wait any longer.

Plans: Phase II of Videre’s business training program was September 27 through October 6. Our team of eight walked alongside 30 Ghanaian entrepreneurs, as we discussed the details of their business ventures and worked with them to create a business plan. Between phase I and phase II, each participant completed a sheet with all of the details we would need to create the business plan. We spent the week verifying all of the information with our entrepreneurs, noting appropriate changes and clarifying details that may have been unclear. I had four people in my group: Adam – Cosmetics store owner; Patience – Seamstress; Dela – Beautician; Ruth – Beautician.

On the first day of training, my group started by sharing our stories of how we came to know the Lord, and they told me how and why they wanted to grow their businesses. Adam owns a successful business and wants to increase his inventory to meet customer demands. Patience is a seamstress and would like to purchase an overlap machine, which would enable her to stop outsourcing certain work, reduce the turn around time to her customers and increase her profits. Dela and Ruth would like to start buying and selling hair products to their customers alongside the services they currently offer.  Over the next couple of days we got into the numbers – projected sales, unit cost, selling price, monthly expenses, etc. – and this proved to be more extensive than I expected. It was a long, but productive process, and I went home one night to plug the final numbers into Excel. Unfortunately, when I clicked on the “moment of truth” tab, I realized that the business plans of my beauticians would not be profitable given the low sales projections and profit margins. I was crushed. Obviously, if adding a monthly loan repayment into the expenses would turn their profit into negative numbers, it would not be wise or loving to give them a loan, however, I still felt sad because I knew that they thought it would be the best thing for them. I’m not sure there is an easy or best way to communicate the news. It was a tough conversation, but in the end, I know that not receiving a loan for that specific business idea really was the best thing for them. Phase III begins November 9th and will cover: Relationships and Business, Marketing, Sales and Service, Evangelism, Money Management, and Savings and Loans.

kanimo morning

Our team split up to visit and stay in two different villages on our last night in Yendi, and we went door to door in the morning to share the good news of Jesus Christ. These are two children of one of the men we shared with, scooping out the remainder of their breakfast.

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One of the homes in the village drying okra and pepper to use as soup ingredients.

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Caring for brothers and sisters starts at an early age here.

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Our team had the privilege of meeting with the Member of Parliament for Yendi (third from the left on the back row). He came over to encourage and thank us for the work Videre is doing in Yendi, and the transformation the program is bringing to his town. We were also able to thank him for allowing us to come, and for the work that he does as he stands in the gap and fights for the welfare of his town.

Planes: I have flown over 21,000 miles within the past month, and in the next two weeks I will add about 14,000 more. Ten days after I returned home from Ghana, I flew to Taipei, Taiwan to visit some friends of mine for 2 1/2 weeks. My friends are on staff with YWAM Taipei, so I was able to get to experience a day in their lives and see how they balance ministry and a family of five. We did a lot of fun things, but my favorite part was just getting to be with them. While in Taipei, I got to reunite with a girl I met out on evangelism one night in Perth. When we met, she had been working in Perth for one year and was moving back to Taiwan the next week. I told her about my friends and the coffee shop that they run there. She had visited the coffee shop a couple of years ago while she was attending the university right around the corner. Small world! I invited her and her friends to come to the coffee shop on Halloween and suggested that they dress up with us, and they totally did! Heather and I got to meet up with them again for dinner the night before I left, and we really enjoyed our time with them! Oh, and I got to witness my first earthquake! It was pretty cool…

Presents: With Christmas right around the corner, I’m sure you have already been thinking about what presents to get for your family, friends, co-workers, your child’s teacher, etc. So many gifts can quickly run out or be easily broken/lost/replaced within a matter of months. This Christmas, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to pay for shipping, avoid the crowds and crazy parking lots and get all of your shopping done from the comfort of your own home? More importantly, wouldn’t it be great to give a gift that can’t be broken, a gift that keeps on giving, and one that will impact families, communities and the kingdom of God? The Videre Christmas Catalog was recently published, and in it you will find the hopes and dreams of 28 precious people. This Christmas season, give a gift of entrepreneurship and everything that it stands for to these 28 faces. To them, being an entrepreneur stands for hope of a better life for their families, especially their children.  Many of these 28 are illiterate, but with a loan to improve their businesses, they will be able to send their children to school.  The next generation will not be the same.  It will be better because of what we can do now. These 28 entrepreneurs have been tested, trained and vetted through Videre’s program for proven character and business savvy.  They have told us their stories, their hopes and dreams, their visions for their businesses. They have told us their plans to use their businesses to share the love of Jesus Christ with others so that many more can experience spiritual and physical freedom. Click here to read some of their business summaries. Then consider giving a gift this Christmas that goes far beyond what our eyes can see, a gift that resonates in the coming generations and into eternity.

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