a Business as Mission Network:: Turn Good Business and Missions into Great Ministry: More than profit - Christianity Today Article on Microfinance <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d27430628\x26blogName\x3dBusiness+as+Mission+Network::+Turn+Go...\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://businessasmission.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://businessasmission.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d6117473324771524729', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
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More than profit - Christianity Today Article on Microfinance

Read the full article on the Christianity Today Website - Wednesday mornings at 8, 24 women crowd into Leticia's Eatery in Muntinlupa City, a poor Filipino community on the southeast edge of Metropolitan Manila. They sing "Lupang Hinirang" ("Chosen Land"), their national anthem, recite a pledge of commitment, pray, and sing Christian songs. After that, 52-year-old Letty, who owns the eatery along the narrow San Guillermo Street, leads a Bible study.


Finally, the women get down to business. They belong to Fellowship 3 of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), a community development organization that focuses on fellowship members' spiritual as well as economic needs. Almost exclusively women, CCT business owners earn money selling fish and bananas, trading inexpensive products, operating mobile phone stations, and selling consumer goods door to door. All are facing new struggles to make ends meet: About 35 percent of the Philippines' 97 million people are destitute, living on $1.25 or less a day. The global financial crisis has only compounded their plight, as the national economy is down 30 percent.


Keys to the success of the center's many fellowships, which function like cell groups, are its microloan program and its instruction in Christian living, coupled with teachings on sound business practices. The average CCT loan is $300, enough for one woman to launch or grow a local business. During the business end of the meeting, women solve problems and encourage each other. Each woman harbors high hopes of making a small profit and paying off her loan on time. At the end of each weekly meeting, members sign the general ledger, and a local pastor closes with prayer.


In Fellowship 3, most of the participants come from a Roman Catholic background. A growing number of them have had a born-again experience, revitalizing their faith. But the group does not discriminate and is open to all. "They listen to the Word of God and are refreshed," Letty, a CCT client and fellowship leader, observes. "At first they came to join because of temporal needs. As the fellowship aged, their spirituality matured." The women's lives and families change, too. Why the poor are still poor


With its motto of "serving God by serving the poor," CCT is highly effective in doing just that: Since 1992, it has partnered with 125,000 individuals in 6,000 fellowship groups. Though it works with international ministries such as Habitat for Humanity and Campus Crusade, CCT is an entirely Filipino venture, funded, staffed, and directed by nationals. Read the rest of the article at the Christianity Today Website http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/september/31.70.html

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posted by Justin Forman | 12.15.2010 - 5:55 AM

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