Saturday, January 31, 2009

Angola Microfinance Consulting in Alberta

Todd: Meet Avelino and Madalena Rafael (left in picture) from Lubango, Angola. That’s what I did, in of all places Edmonton, Alberta and in of all times balmy January! Joining the gathering was Edmonton-based PEER Servants volunteer, Marculey Sanon (right in picture). The four met for three days to discuss steps Avelino needed to take to establish his dream - a sustainable, transformative microfinance organization to empower the materially poor of southern Angola and give them a fresh sense of hope that Jesus loves them and is mindful of them.
Avelino and I have been trying to meet for the past couple years — I had trouble getting an Angolan visa, and Avelino and Madalena were coming to Alberta to be in a wedding. So rather than meeting in the tropical warmth of southern Angola, God opened the door for the two of them to meet in the frigid tundra of Alberta. The time together may prove very valuable as Avelino establishes Jubilee Microfinance in the months ahead. If PEER Servants can recruit a group of volunteers to serve and support Jubilee, a formal partnership may develop between the two organizations. PEER Servants is very impressed with Jubilee and the team Avelino has gathered on his board and management in Lubango — it is very typical of the promising indigenous, autonomous microfinance institutions with which PEER Servants partners.
Avelino and I are both looking forward to future times of consultation as Jubilee gets established. But the next meeting will, Lord willing, be in the warmth of Angola.