This fall has been one of much travel for me. Given Reciprocity 2011 (our global microfinance conference held in the Boston area in July/August 2011), I had not traveled at all in 2011. The spring was let loose in October, and over a 6-week period, I was in Haiti, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Philippines!
|PEER Servants Team Haiti volunteer, Frislain Isidor, and fiance, Martine|
|CAFECC/Uganda and PEER Servants Teams|
I returned from Haiti in time for our PEER Servants Annual Board Meeting and then off on a 17-day trip to four counties in Africa - South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda. There were four other PEER Servants volunteers joining various parts of the trip - Dave and Sue Leach, Richard Kinyua, and Jake Mahon. South Africa was a short but good stop as we worked with reps from Aloga, our South African microfinance partner, as they prepared to head to the Philippines (more in the next paragraph on that). We also saw PEER Servants employees Jesse and Vicki Ratichek for the last time in South Africa as they wind down their 2.5 years there and return back to the States in December. Then on to Lusaka, Zambia where we took an 8-hour bus ride to Mongu, in Zambia's Western province, and saw elephants and lions on the way! This is where CEMFIN, our Zambian microfinance partner, will launch their program next year. It was my first time to Mongu (CEMFIN had been focusing on Lusaka up until now), and it looks like a great place for a Christian microfinance program. We were encouraged by our time there. The three days in Tanzania were to meet folks from Self-Reliance International, a Tanzanian microfinance organization. They had joined us at Reciprocity 2011 given our ties with Bob Quinn (now PEER Servants Team Uganda member) who has been supporting SRI's work in Tanzania for a few years. We really enjoyed the time with the SRI foks and will see how God leads regarding the future of partnership. Finally, back through Nairobi to Entebbe and eventually Arua, home of CAFECC, our Ugandan microfinance partner. We had a very encouraging time with them (pictured above) as they take more steps to become sustainable and transformational. We also left Jake Mahon (left in picture) there as he started a 7-month internship with CAFECC. Our last evening was having a wonderful dinner with Patrick Obiga, CAFECC Executive Director, and his fiance on the shores of Lake Victoria. Then it was back home through Amsterdam and a couple days to unpack and pack before heading out once more.
|Participating in the CCT training on Vision and Leadership|
It was a super special fall, with lots of frequent flier miles, and lots of frequent reminders of what a great God we serve and what an amazing kingdom He wants us to experience.