Partnering for Economic Empowerment and Renewal. Transforming Lives.

Our Awards

Celebrating Some of the Inspiring People Among Us

Inspiring People.

We are surrounded by them in PEER Servants. Micro-entrepreneurs working extremely hard to bless their families, churches, and communities. Trend-setters who carve out new paths in extending more of the kingdom of heaven to earth. Lifetime achievers who have invested so much among others in our PEER Servants network. We couldn’t help but recognize and celebrate them.

The Lydia Award

Lydia was an impressive entrepreneur. Not only was she a very good businesswoman, but she was quick to use the proceeds of her business to support Paul and his missionary companions as they passed through her area. Lydia is credited by Biblical historians as one of the key people in planting the church in Europe.

In the spirit of Lydia, PEER Servants sponsors the Annual Lydia Award. It recognizes those micro-entrepreneurs having the greatest impact in their families, churches, and communities. Click the button below to read the stories of our 2023 finalists. Join us in thanking God for the transformation in the lives of these hardworking micro-entrepreneurs and, through them, the lives of many others.

Meet Our 2023 Lydia Award Finalists

Read the stories of our three most recent Lydia Award recipients below.

Meet Our Lydia Award Recipients of 2023-2021

2023

Lydia

Chicken Farmer and More!

Philippines

Lydia grew up in one of the most dangerous slums in Manila. She never left, and now she is turning it into a bit more of heaven. Lydia started with a $36 micro-loan from CCT to sell chicken meat. While repaying her loan, she came to understand how much God loves her and those in her community. A very successful business woman, she eventually received loans for a convenience store, an internet café, and a much larger loan of $4,500 to significantly expand her chicken broiler business. She leads a CCT Fellowship Group now telling others about the God who loves them. She has great dreams for the future – for herself and her community. She would like to open a clean water station and use her God-given leadership skills to assume an even greater role in extending a bit more of heaven to her beloved neighborhood.

2022

Monica

Farmer

Uganda

In 2011, Monica invested the very little she had, less than $10, and bought very basic farm tools. She now needed to provide for her children. She struggled for years. In 2018 she became a client of CAFECC, PEER Servants’ partner in Uganda, and everything began to change. With CAFECC capital and services, the business took off. She started farming ground nuts (peanuts), bananas, cassava, and beans and maize (corn). Monica now has a large, diverse farm and is rearing goats, cows and chickens. She employs six full-time workers and two to four part-time workers. She sells in and beyond her town. People rave about the quality of her farm products. She has educated her children, shared food with those in need, and trained other women in farming. Monica sees her farm as much more than a business; it is her ministry to extend more of the kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”

2021

Atputhaseeli

Fish Net Retailer/Repairer

Sri Lanka

Atputhaseeli and her fisherman husband lived a happy life with their five children. Then came the Sri Lankan civil war when one day her husband went out fishing and he never returned. The family fled their village and lived for years as refugees. One day Atpuhaseeli heard about YGro-HEED, PEER Servants’ partner in Sri Lanka. With a micro-loan of $150, she purchased fish nets and rented them out, taking part of the daily catch as payment. She learned to repair nets to add to her income. She qualified for larger micro-loans and more than quadrupled her family income. Now, thanks to her hard work and loans from HEED, Atputhaseeli’s children are all educated, including a blind son. She is a role model in her community, contributing to the building of her church, and acting as a voice for others whose loved ones remain unaccounted for in the war.

The Lydia Award Archive

Would you like to meet our Lydia Award recipients from previous years? Click here to go to our Lydia Award Archive webpage.

The Person(s) of the Year Award

Extending the kingdom of heaven to earth is a huge task. Making progress in it requires having creative, innovative trendsetters among us, and our Person(s) of the Year Award honors such people. It can go to anyone in the PEER Servants family – micro-entrepreneurs, students, volunteers, donors, partner staff members, board members, etc. It is selected at the end of December each year and announced at our Annual Meeting the first or second Saturday of January.

Meet Our Recent Person(s) of the Year Award Recipients

2023

 

Ghena Russu/Viki Deardorff

PEER Servants is blessed with great Global Partners and Global Volunteers! In 2023, we celebrated 25 years of partnership with Invest Credit/Moldova! There’s no better year to recognize and celebrate Ghena Russu, the Executive Director of Invest Credit for virtually all of those 25 years! Ghena’s heart and passion are in extending the kingdom to his Moldovan people. Under his leadership, Invest Credit has grown from a small institution serving one farming community to a much larger institution serving communities throughout the country. Viki Deardorff is a PEER Servants Volunteer and our Co-Director of Education Programs. Under her leadership, the support of our Partner’s Education programs has grown significantly, including supporting over 70 African young people to pursue university studies in our PEER Teens Scholars and SALT Scholars programs. Congratulations, Ghena and Viki, on being chosen as our 2023 Persons of the Year!

2022

 

Dave Ryder/Bob Givens

One key factor in PEER Servants’ growth has been a fantastic Board of Directors, and two of the most impactful Board members have been Dave Ryder and Bob Givens. Together, they served a total of almost 30 years on our Board and, much to our regret, both stepped away from the Board at the end of 2022. Dave traveled to and encouraged many of our Global Partners and was very influential in the establishment of our Guatemalan partnership. He served as Board Chair for many years. Bob was very involved in PEER Servants corporate matters and making certain PEER Servants remained focused on the key issue of management succession. Ever committed to effective discipleship, he encouraged the launch of our Emerging Leaders Initiative. Both Dave and Bob were constant encouragers to the entire PEER Servants family, most especially the President, Todd Engelsen, and we celebrate both of them as our 2022 Persons of the Year!

2021

 

Bill and Judy Long

Occasionally, God blesses an organization with people who help transform the organization into one that is much more strategic for the kingdom. Those people for PEER Servants are Bill and Judy Long. With Bill and Judy, it starts with prayer and their passion to see many experience the kingdom of heaven on earth. It then extends to discipleship – encouraging others in PEER Servants to become much more sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit and sacrificial to see the kingdom come. It goes further to fully embracing Jesus’ simple strategy to “go and tell what we have seen and heard” of the kingdom of heaven in our midst. That has led Judy and Bill to tell many others about what God is doing in PEER Servants to proclaim good news to the materially poor. God has allowed PEER Servants to more than double in impact since 2018, and Bill and Judy are significant contributors to that growth, leading them to be the recipients of our 2021 Persons of the Year!

The Person(s) of the Year Award Archive

Would you like to meet our Person(s) of the Year from previous years? Click here to go to our Person(s) of the Year Archive webpage.

The Reciprocity Award

The Reciprocity Award is PEER Servants’ most distinguished award. It is given to recognize outstanding lifetime achievement in strengthening the PEER Servants network to more effectively extend the kingdom. It is borne out of PEER Servants’ core value of “The Reign of Reciprocity”, acknowledging that we all have much to receive as well as give to more effectively experience and extend the kingdom. The Reciprocity Award recipients are those from whom we have received very, very much! Only two people have been the recipients of The Reciprocity Award.

Meet Our Reciprocity Award Recipients

“Ate” Ruth Callanta

Philippines

“Ate” Ruth is the CEO and Founder of The Center for Community Transformation in the Philippines. God has used her in that role to establish an organization with 15+ ministries that are allowing the last to become first and leading the first to being willing to become last – a sure sign of the kingdom of heaven among us. She has intentionally and generously invested in training much smaller indigenous microfinance institutions in the PEER Servants network to have much greater kingdom impact in their parts of the world, and many have returned to their homes vowing to become “the CCT in their part of the world.” The PEER Servants network is very indebted to “Ate” Ruth and the amazing CCT team she inspires and leads.

Reverend Panya Baba

Nigeria

As a leader in the evangelical church of Nigeria for many years, Reverend Panya Baba realized he needed to not only encourage church members to be generous, but to equip them to be generous. He founded a Nigerian microfinance institution that ultimately served thousands of clients in the Middle Belt of the country. Reverend Baba had the insight that not only could these micro-entrepreneurs experience more of the kingdom, they could extend it to others as well, and so the microfinance institution started tithing their interest revenue – setting aside 10% of it to support Nigerian missionaries. The micro-entrepreneurs were so excited to be supporting mission work that they actually voted to increase the interest rate so that they could support more missionaries. Soon other PEER microfinance partners followed suit and started tithing from their interest revenue to support outreach beyond their clients. Reverend Baba’s passion for missions was contagious and his impact on the PEER network will be felt for decades to come. He went home to be with his beloved Jesus in October 2019.