Friday, April 20, 2012

Connections in Cuenca

Two years ago during the visit of the Global Business Affiliate to Ecuador, a team member from New Jersey took the opportunity to connect with his wife’s cousin, Boris Ordoñez.  Through the experience, Boris accompanied the local Quito leaders and the North American team members to visit a bakery owner and strawberry growers, all the while learning more about Partners Worldwide’s vision of working through business as ministry to alleviate poverty in communities. 

As a leader of his church in Cuenca, Boris was already involved in a number of ministries in addition to being the successful owner of four businesses.  Over the years, Verbo Church of Cuenca had established orphanages, a hospital, a radio station, a school, a language institute and many other ministries.  However, a ministry that could connect Christian business leaders and empower them to have an impact in their community for Christ was missing.  Boris saw the potential to develop a ministry for businesspeople and began conversing about the possibility with Partners Worldwide.

Through subsequent visits and conversations, the Verbo Church led a business training course for 40 people, developed a group of businesspeople in the church willing to serve as consultants, and formed a team dedicated to launching the ministry.  At the beginning of April, Partners Worldwide’s Ecuador partnership coordinator met with the Verbo leadership team to formalize plans for a partnership in the city of Cuenca.  By formalizing this partnership, the group plans to offer more frequent business training, establish a mentoring program, and eventually provide access to small loans through an independent lender.  While there is still much work to do, this is a concrete step toward providing Christian business development support for businesses in Cuenca, Ecuador.

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