Friday, October 21, 2005

LEAD Inc.: Liberia Entrepreneurial and Asset Development, In the Name of Christ

In Bob’s absence, let me report on some of the work that I am doing with LEAD Inc., a new NGO that is in partnership with Partners Worldwide ( and CRWRC ( LEAD’s goal is to work to increase employment in Liberia – currently there is approximately an 85% unemployment rate. The goal is to develop savings and loan groups, who will receive a 3:1 match on their savings in the form of a loan, to expand their business, and ultimately the employment base. Our current goal is to work with small to middle size established businesses (with several employees). This was a big week for LEAD: we incorporated officially with the Ministry of Planning, and we hired a staff person: Brother James Hillary. This Saturday, October 22, 2005, we will hold our Strategic Planning meeting for the Board. We are blessed to have visionary people on this board who have some great ideas for where LEAD can go to effect change for the people of Liberia and the Kingdom of God. They have ideas of working not only with middle size businesses in their current location, but to begin a business incubator program through the establishment of a ‘mall’, where businesses can be indoors, outside of the rain (most businesses are currently outside, along the road), with lighting so that they don’t have to close up shop by around 6:00 pm, and security. This would be a place where middle size businesses could be, as well as some new entrepreneurs, targeting ex-combatants, specifically. We are in prayer about this and trust that God will use us, as long as we keep submitting our will to His will, our agenda to His. We are also blessed to have detail oriented people on the board, who catch the minute details of what needs to be done, and are willing to do that work as well. In addition, we have a North American Affiliate group, called the Nehemiah Liberia Group, made up of business and otherwise interested folks in Grand Rapids, who will work as partners with the business owners here. As Bob has the camera with him, I will send pictures along when I can.


Some of you have asked about Homeschooling. So far, it’s going fine. I’m enjoying it and Hannah spontaneously reported this morning that she likes Homeschooling better to regular school. Noah reports that while it’s true that the days are shorter than regular school days, the days feel longer because the work is harder. I like the one-on-one attention that I can give them, especially as it relates to processing material to make sure that they understand it; that is a luxury that most teachers with many students in the class cannot do. As both kids love reading, but don’t always read the quality books that I would like them to read, I am enjoying assigning those books now. [Before I would ask them to read a particular book – they would halfheartedly try and then report that they ‘really couldn’t get into it’. Now they don’t have an option – they must read it.] I’m happy to report that once they start reading it, I find them sneaking reading during their break time in school – they like it! Currently, Hannah is reading To Kill a Mockingbird; Noah is reading Lord of the Flies.