Our team was poised to move forward.
We had strong leadership, growing relationships in the community, and a wide network of support.
Then there was a change in local leadership when people moved on to other opportunities.
Then the pandemic.
Then many Business Affiliate team members had to step back to manage and pivot their own businesses.
One step forward, two steps back.
But we held on to hope that God would open doors for our work in Paterson, New Jersey at the right time.
That door opened through Doug Boydston, a Business Affiliate who was carefully asking God what his next steps should be upon retiring from his construction business. Doug had been introduced to Partners Worldwide through a friend, and attended a train-the-trainer session at the last minute when invited to join. He brought along another friend from the construction world, who also had ties to Grand Rapids, MI (where PW United States offices are located.)
Among all of these shared connections Doug brought knowledge of two impactful ministries already doing good work in Paterson.
One, Servant's Heart Ministries, offers apprenticeships for young men and women in various trades and construction skills. This workforce program is serving right in the heart of Paterson across from the Great Falls in a newly renovated community center. Servant's Heart plans to continue renovations, like an open-air market with food vendors on the first floor, as well as an indoor skate park!
Then, a mere 10-minute walk from the Great Falls community center, is Star Of Hope--a ministry that focuses on leadership development along with grassroots initiatives for community restoration. Star Of Hope services a network of churches throughout the New Jersey area by running a job training program and operating a growing thrift store out of their main facility in downtown Paterson.
When Doug and other BAs spoke with Star Of Hope's Executive Director Matt Andersen about Partners Worldwide, he immediately recognized an incredible opportunity!
Now the BA team has a renewed sense of purpose for serving alongside Star of Hope and Servant's Heart. Working with multiple organizations, they hope to foster an ecosystem that catalyzes entrepreneurship in an area that once burgeoned with industry.
Even with multiple setbacks, God opened doors in Paterson, New Jersey at just the right time.
The mission is clear: to empower, train and mentor entrepreneurs to uncover their individual gifts and talents to start businesses. This in turn allows entrepreneurs to contribute towards their community and build for themselves a greater, more prosperous future.
We’re excited to see how these partnerships thrive!