A dear friend and PW ministry partner once told me that he and his team long ago made the choice to never again appear in a community and say, “how can we help you?” but to forever ask instead, “how can we do business together?”
Consider the implications of that subtle shift. Consider what the second question conveys to the listener. It’s all about seeing, believing, and declaring the image of God in another. It’s a powerful statement of truth: “We need each other. We are both created in the image of God, gifted with natural abilities and passions that together can reap a rich harvest—multiplication!”
“How can we do business together?” is a redemptive question.
When our local partner in Central America that supports small- scale farmers asked this question, it put their ministry onto an entirely new trajectory.
Yet, they didn’t stop at words. They recognized that they and their neighbors facing poverty were both created in the image of God. So, they set out to build a model in which they could do business together.
Many farmers are initially unable to fully carry the costs of the services they receive, but our partner’s business model joyfully accommodates that reality by building a bridge on which each farmer can prosper—and as they move along the road from poverty, they build the bridge for those that follow, creating a perpetual cycle.
Their redemptive model today enables marginalized farmers to move from poverty and vulnerability to being a source of hope for their neighbors as primary sources of employment, certified businesspeople with access to global markets, and leaders in their community. These farmers go from being avoided by banks and other service providers to being recognized as valuable actors in the marketplace. THAT is redemptive!
To date, thousands of farmers have prospered, with their products sold on two continents.
Yet that’s just the start of the ripple that flows outward from each farm family and employee. Education, infrastructure, community services, and the church also prosper as this network becomes a unified body rooted in their faith and motivated by their calling in Christ. Together, they are a beautiful glimpse of the unity and oneness Jesus so fervently pleaded for from the Father in his prayer in John 17, the beginning of his journey to the cross. And why does that matter? Because Jesus makes it clear at the beginning and end of his prayer that oneness in the body points people to eternal life.
Recognizing the image of God and pursuing redemptive business invites people into life in Christ and the Kingdom of God here and for eternity!
Be encouraged, my friends. Jesus paved the way for the urgent calling He gave us to pursue the end of poverty—and the PW network is overflowing with the fruit of your faithful service, generosity, and partnership!