Partnering for Economic Empowerment and Renewal. Transforming Lives.

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 2021 finalists and join us in congratulating Atputhaseeli, an inspiring Sri Lankan Fish Net Retailer and Repairer, who was the recipient of our 2021 Lydia Award. 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 2021 Lydia Award Finalists

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

Meet Our Lydia Award Recipients of 2021-2019

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.

2020

Dionnie

Vegetable Farmer

Philippines

Dionnie sought justice, but it was extremely elusive. He had been wrongfully accused and convicted of murder and sentenced to a Filipino jail. Ten years would pass before a court retried his case and found Dionnie innocent. The taste of freedom was sweet, but the road ahead anything but easy. Dionnie found one organization, CCT, that believed in him and trusted him with a series of microloans. He had actually learned better farming while in prison – now he could grow his farm with access to capital. He purchased water pumps and other equipment he needed. The growth led him to hire two full-time and ten part-time workers. He’s sent all of his children to university. He is a man who celebrates God’s commitment to justice and mercy, and a man who rejoices that he can now join God in extending His goodness to many.

2019

Maria

Tortilla Maker

Guatemala

Maria cannot read or write – today, she is sending her children to university! This transformation was made possible through Maria’s hard work and the services she received from Vida Nueva, the microfinance arm of Potter’s House. Maria grew up in the Western Highlands and moved to Guatemala City. She married, but her husband died suddenly and she was left raising three young children. She did everything she could, including working in the garbage dump, to provide for them. Eventually she saved enough to pursue her dream of having her own tortilla making business. Vida Nueva helped her grow that business – even employing four women today. Maria has brought up her children living in sufficiency and with dignity, and she has donated land she owned back in the Highlands to build a library and clinic!

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

2020

 

Kenya Chapter Volunteers

PEER Servants is growing, and that may have been most obvious in 2020 with the establishment of our Kenya Chapter – our first Chapter of volunteers outside of Boston. The Kenya Chapter volunteers already number 20+ and serve on or have visited not only our African partners, but those in Asia and the Americas as well. They come from many different ethnic groups within Kenya and are some of the global leaders in PEER’s youth empowerment arm while already taking the lead in local kingdom outreach to an ethnic group in northern Kenya. God has prepared them to assume the mantle of leadership within the PEER Network and to serve as an example and inspiration to many more forthcoming Chapters of PEER volunteers. We celebrate and thank God for the Kenya Chapter volunteers as the very deserving recipients of our 2020 Persons of the Year.

2019

Alejandro Huaman and Sandy Smith

Our 2019 was such a phenomenal year, we couldn’t limit the Person of the Year to one individual! Alejandro Huaman is an exceptional loan officer serving with our Peruvian partner, Kallarisunchis. He travels to remote Quechuan villages offering much more than micro-loans – clearly God’s agent to extend more of the kingdom of heaven. In 2019, he maintained a 100% repayment rate while entering these villages with such Christlike humility and sensitivity to God’s Spirit that those who had previously rejected the gospel were now more open to it. Sandy Smith has been an exceptional PEER Servants volunteer for over a decade. As amazing as she had been, 2019 was a year she found a way to step up even more! Sandy has given much time and effort to serving our African partners and volunteers while taking a special interest in PEER Teens around the world. The world celebrated when Sandy was honored with this Award! 

2018

Carol Mostrom

Many in PEER Servants were a tad concerned when PEER Servants President, Todd Engelsen, and his wife, Leslie, went on a 6-month sabbatical in 2018. Who would do what they had done? While it was certainly a team effort, no one person did more than Carol Mostrom. Carol has a passion to help others combined with the knowledge, skill, and experience to do it exceptionally well within PEER Servants. She sacrificed much of her summer to make certain the PEER Servants office was running well. Many inside and outside of the organization knew that if they needed a question answered, Carol was the one to go to! The year ended up being one of the best in the history of PEER Servants, and Carol Mostrom is very much to thank for that! We celebrate Carol and her willingness to be used by God in an extraordinary way in 2018 by making her the very deserving recipient of the 2018 Person of the Year Award.

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.