The Latest

From Marketing Pro to Marketplace Minister

Ed Rivera speaking

After 30 years in the fast-paced world of advertising—working from the Philippines to the Middle East—Ed felt compelled to do something different. “I saw that my experience in the corporate world would contribute better to the area of marketplace ministry,” he said. Inspired to serve, Ed retired and began volunteering for various faith-based organizations in the Philippines, where he resides with his wife and three children.

In 2014, Ed’s passion for marketplace ministry led him to Partners Worldwide. When he learned that PW’s Southeast Asia regional office would soon be relocating to his hometown, Manila, Ed knew he needed to get involved.

Today, Ed serves as a Board Member, Master Trainer, and Business Affiliate. He shares his experience in this interview conversation.

What is it about the intersection of faith and business that appeals to you?

“My favorite thing is to do evangelism through way of training. In other words, I don’t have to go to them with a Bible and preach to them the word of God directly, but rather evangelize and disciple by way of connecting with them, listening, and then training them one step at a time.” 

Describe your work with PW. 

"Right now, I’m involved in conducting trainings for the Local Community Institutions (LCIs) in the Philippines—particularly Convoy of Hope and Samaritana Transformation Ministries. Additionally, we are providing trainees the opportunity to consult us through coaching and mentoring. 

“The trainees that we have encountered through Convoy of Hope and Samaritana… [come from] the marginalized society, here in the Philippines. Some of them have self-doubt, some of them have limiting beliefs… So, before any business training, we are training them to have a paradigm shift, to realize their strengths and weaknesses and overcome those self-doubts.”  

Ed Rivera Convoy of Hope

How are you able to utilize your marketing expertise in your volunteer work? 

“My experience in advertising and marketing has helped me provide additional knowledge on how to develop a product that will be relevant and responsive, a product that will solve pain points or pressing problems in the community… It’s not just about producing something based on their skills or based on what they think will sell, but rather, spending time within the community to learn what problems exist.” 

How does your faith play a role in your work? 

“One of the biggest factors why I am continuing in this endeavor is because of the compassion that I have experienced from God. I can never repay it except for cascading it down the line. This is my way of paying it forward to bless others. In short, I am blessed to be a blessing through Partners Worldwide.” 

Ed Rivera training

You were scheduled to attend the Partners Worldwide Global Summit back in 2018 when the unthinkable happened—you had a heart attack.  

“I was lining up to get my visa [at the embassy], when out of the blue, I collapsed. I couldn’t remember any [heart attack] symptoms at all. No palpitation, no blurred vision, nothing.  

“The presence of God was very evident by way of having a doctor at my back who assisted me when I fell down. And then there was another doctor who was about to get his own visa who helped in terms of doing CPR. And then another medical practitioner—a respiratory specialist—was around. God has placed these people during that particular time.  

“While I was unconscious… I felt the presence of God. I could feel peace and joy within my heart. I kept saying, “Thank you, Jesus; thank you, Father.” The moment that I was revived, the first sentence I uttered—according to the doctor—was, “Thank you, Jesus; thank you, Father.  

 “I was hospitalized for 14 days in the ICU. With the help of my spiritual family and my own family, I survived that challenge. The best part of this [experience] is realizing that I don’t have to waste my life… I should remain productive, more purposeful, and really make use of this second chance in my life...

That’s why, all the more, I continue to use my life as a marketplace minister. To evangelize by sharing my skills and letting people know there’s still hope.”