Mission Express: Empower and Transform
March 13, 2023
Last year, International Ministries (IM) provided a certificate training course on Christian Social Enterprise to 300 pastors, seminarians, and church leaders in South Asia in partnership with the North East Christian University, India. See related report in IM 2021-2022 Annual Report page 11-12 in https://internationalministries.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/2022-IM-annual-report-final-no-blue-stripe-small-.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2-z0lASU3AEPYA_sdlT33mfG9zRqIRqYqxHMOBlaxdHKW7xz_LSMhpS8c; and my journal Christian Enterprise Development Training for Asia inaugurated https://internationalministries.org/christian-enterprise-development-training-for-asia-inaugurated/.
Graduates of the training may apply for the Seed Award Grant to implement small businesses to improve the economic condition and quality of life of their congregations and communities. We have already awarded six applications from the students of the first cohort January to June 2022.
I am very happy to tell you that we have received 50 Seed Award Grant applications from the second cohort July to December 2022. In the first review, 34 of them have completed the full application. The Seed Award Team had a Zoom meeting on March 10, 2023 discussing how to process the applications, and we set the dates to finish all the online scoring on March 31. Thank my former Special Assistant Anthony Ng for providing his staff assistance to produce the online score form and auto-produced summary report.
We are aiming at having the final decision in early April. We have the resource, by God’s grace, to provide up to 14 awards, and up to US$5,000 each. It means that adding the 6 awards we already approved, we will have 20 small businesses implemented, from which we can learn how to expand this meaningful ministry in concrete and contextual ways. I want to add that Bruce and Ann Borquist’s class design and teaching is highly regarded by the students, and seminary and college professors. Special thanks to Wati Longchar who coordinated the training, and the amazing involvement and support of the other members of the leaders team: Becky Shenton, Carole Sydnor, Stan Slade and Katie; and the Seed Award Team members: Joseph Huse, Anthony Ng, James Williams, Carole Sydnor and John Chan.
Related to what I just share is an important work Taku and Katie are leading: the formation of Economic and Community Transformation. Katie and Taku have arranged a Zoom Conference on March 21 and invited NGOs and social arms of partner conventions in South Asia to attend. We will start with learning each other’s current status and visions. The next steps are to officially form the Economic and Community Transformation Think Tank, and the leaders team to organize continuing conversations via Zoom and chat group, and hopefully a physical conference this year. Thank God that we have received a Palmer Grant to hold the conference. Please pray for us.