Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Five Years (and Counting) Since John Hancock

Todd: June 11, 2009 marked the fifth anniversary of my leaving John Hancock and focusing full-time on PEER Servants responsibilities. It has been a very full and fun five years! The occasion offers an opportunity to reflect back on God's faithfulness and some highlights while looking ahead to where we go from here.

I still get asked if I miss the corporate world. As much as I enjoyed it, the answer is definitely no! I have not for even a second questioned my decision to transition to focusing full-time on empowering the materially poor and doing so in a manner that strengthens the materially rich spiritually and socially. God's timing was perfect.

Since leaving John Hancock, we have been able to grow PEER Servants by adding more volunteers, full-time staff, and committed board members. We have trained our volunteers to better serve our microfinance partners. We have helped more of our microfinance partners become sustainable, thereby enabling them to cover their own expenses of operations, and transformational, being a means through which economic, social, and spiritual transformation can be experienced by a growing number of the materially poor. We have gathered all of our microfinance partners in South Africa (2004) and Peru (2007) for powerful times of training and encouragement. The Walk for Economic Empowerment started in 2006 and has been held annually ever since, raising loan capital for thousands to be blessed. There are many times we wished we could have accomplished more, but we rest in what God has achieved through us and wrestle with new ways we can approach this high calling to more effectively extend His Kingdom.

As excited as we have been with these past five years, we see them just as a springboard for the years to come. This year, our Walk for Economic Empowerment will expand from being just a PEER Servants walk in Boston to a walk representing three organizations involved in Christian microfinance (World Relief, Hope International, and PEER Servants) in four locations (DC/Baltimore, Charlotte, and Columbus (OH), in addition to Boston). Next year we will bring all of our microfinance partners to Boston for Reciprocity 2010 - what could become our largest sponsored event yet! Our goal is to focus on those microfinance partners that have proven their ability to offer sustainable transformation to the materially poor.

I thank God for the 20 years at John Hancock. The income from John Hancock is what provided the savings Les and I have been able to live on these past five wonderful years of ministry. Now we will transition to raising our personal financial support through PEER Servants. Our salary will be a small sliver of what it had been at John Hancock. The same faithful God that has led us this far will certainly meet all of our needs. If you would like to be part of our financial support team, we'd love to hear from you!