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. Read the stories of our three most recent Lydia Award recipients below. Check back in early July 2019 to meet our three 2019 Lydia Award finalists and vote online for your favorite. 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 Lydia Award Recipients of 2018-2016

2018

Minda

Ice Cream Maker/Retailer

Philippines

Minda and her family were struggling. Her husband was sick and they couldn’t afford the treatment. She was selling ice cream from a pushcart, not being treated fairly by her boss and being sexually molested by male customers. She knew God had a better plan for their lives. She dreamed of starting her own ice cream business, making much more delicious ice cream, and treating her employees with respect, so with loan capital, encouragement, and lots of prayer support from The Center for Community Transformation, that’s what she set out to do, and she excelled! Now Minda has one of the largest ice cream businesses in her city, she has created many jobs, she has become known and respected for her extreme generosity to her church and community, and her family is getting the healthcare they need.

2017

Maria

Garbage Recycler

Guatemala

Maria was born a block away from one of the largest dumps in Latin America. Life was never easy. She was widowed in her 30s and lost her son to a violent death, but Maria was a fighter. She started a recycling business that grew with access to loan capital, encouragement, and prayer support from Vida Nueva, the microfinance arm of Potter’s House. Over time, she employed over ten people purchasing recyclable materials from over forty suppliers and selling to forty recycling centers. She was able to purchase a truck to transport her goods and eventually opened many other businesses, including a food stall. Now Maria provides for her extended family, supports her local church, and is respected by all in her garbage dump community – in fact, she has inspired and mentored many of them to pursue their own dreams.

2016

Wickneswary

Seamstress

Sri Lanka

Wickneswary lived in one of the areas most affected by Sri Lanka’s long civil war. Her husband left the country to find work elsewhere, never to be heard from again. Needing to provide for her then infant son, Wickneswary applied for loan capital from HEED. She not only received affordable loan capital, but training and encouragement as well. Now Wickneswary has many sewing machines and two seamtress centers, including one in a prime location on a busy street in her city; she even gets orders from Sri Lankans living abroad given her quality service. She has trained over forty women (most of whom could not complete their education due to the war) how to sew, and some of them have opened their own businesses. Her son is getting a good education, and Wickneswary is a model for local women still recovering from the war.

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

2017

Esther Suh

Esther Suh, one of 160+ PEER Servants volunteers, is a prayer warrior and a fantastic encourager. She hosted various PEER Servants 2017 events with her gift of hospitality. But it was, in her own words, Esther’s willingness to “get out of the boat” and embrace her dependence on God that enabled her to be used by Him to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the materially poor. She used her gift of painting and sold her works of art and then donated the proceeds to PEER Servants. She brought PEER Servants brochures with her and shared them with interested friends and family who responded by giving generously. In short, she did what Jesus told all of us to do – go and tell what we have seen and heard. We celebrate Esther Suh and her willingness to be used by God in an extraordinary way in 2017 by making her the very deserving recipient of the 2017 Person of the Year Award.

2016

PEER Teens Uganda Members

In August 2014, six teenagers gathered in Arua, Uganda. They wrestled with two Bible verses – Matthew 6:10, asking themselves what would the kingdom of heaven look like in northern Uganda, and 1 Timothy 4:12, asking how they could set the example for other believers in their speech, conduct, faith, love, and purity. In the months that followed, they went into the prisons living out and proclaiming God’s love, and then into the hospitals, the homes of the elderly, secondary schools, churches, and beyond. When teenagers in other countries in the PEER Servants network heard about it, they wanted in, and they wanted to not only focus on extending the kingdom locally, but explore ways they could partner together globally. By the end of 2016, Teens in five countries were involved, with two more countries planning to join in 2017. The vision, courage, and dedication of the PEER Teens Uganda members led to their being chosen as the very deserving recipients of the inaugural Person(s) of the Year Award.

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.