Micro-Enterprise with Macro-Results

Brad M. Griffin | Jan 9, 2012

Today’s post is by guest blogger Matt Laidlaw, a high school pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids Michigan. We’re so inspired with the way their team is inspiring Deep Justice we asked them to guest blog for FYI.

For the past 5 years Mars Hill has partnered with World Relief to support Turame Community Financea microfinance resource in Burundi, Africa, one of the poorest nations of the world. Microenterprise functions with the belief that given the proper resources and support, the poor can lift themselves out of poverty through their own effort, energy, creativity, and entrepreneurship. This revolutionary idea has shaped how weve invited our high school students to participate in supporting this project. Because similarly, we believe that given the right support and resources, our high school students can accomplish remarkable things on behalf of others.

So every November and December, Anthem (high school) Students take a hands-on approach to our microfinance initiative by borrowing $5 to start their own small business. They sign loan agreements, agree to pay back $1 a week, and work hard with other students and leaders to create profits that can be donated to Turame. Since 2007, our students have taken out 634 loans from our church (thats $3,170). Their hard work and ingenuity has led to nearly a 100% repayment rate and almost $12,000 in profits, which have been donated to Turame. From designing clothing and jewelry, to hosting a video game marathon, our 9th-12th graders continue to model to our community what it looks like to actually live out the mission of our church.

For a few examples of our students creativity and ingenuity and more info about the work Mars Hill is doing through Turame, checkout the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHOiOM80M8I
http://turametshirt.webs.com/
http://game4hope.com/home
http://turame.com/
http://www.facebook.com/anthematmars
http://marshill.org/students/

PS: Mars Hill Students is hosting a youth ministry Collaborative in Grand Rapids on February 11th featuring Kara Powell and Sticky Faith. Register online.

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and the series Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith. Brad and his family live in Southern California.


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