Partnering for Economic Empowerment and Renewal. Transforming Lives.


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. Click the button below to read the stories of our 2020 finalists, including Dionnie Juan, a vegetable farmer from the Philippines, who is the recipient of the 2020 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.

Read the Stories of Our 2020 Lydia Award Finalists

Meet Our Lydia Award Recipients of 2019-2017



Tortilla Maker


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!



Ice Cream Maker/Retailer


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.



Garbage Recycler


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.

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


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! 


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.


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.

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


“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


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.