Last summer I, Ted, attended a training with Global Disciples Small Business Development. The curriculum is focused on helping people in poor, developing countries start their own business. It gives them tools and knowledge on how to plan ahead, to budget and save, and to manage the risks. The main idea is finding what each of us already “has in our hand,” and how we can take advantage of our assets for the benefit of ourselves and our community. Not only is it good material for starting a business, but it contains excellent advice and tools for any of us making a family budget while saving and preparing for unexpected expenses.
I presented the material to the leaders of Red Paz AV, an organization that leads many trainings and projects in various K’ekchi’ communities. I learned a lot of things as I tried to teach the material to my companions at Red Paz.
First, it is difficult to teach in a foreign language. It was a challenge to keep the atmosphere fast-paced while trying to respond to questions and think ahead in Spanish. I found myself needing to prepare far more than I’m used to.
Second, it didn’t matter so much that my teaching wasn’t super engaging because the material is already so profoundly relevant. The “students” were constantly applying the material to their lives and imagining how to present it to the K’ekchi’ communities.
Third, their reaction was the same as mine as well as those I took the training with last summer: this material is life-giving and God-inspired. It is more than simply business training. Scripture is woven throughout, clearly pointing to the way that Christ expects us to steward our resources and to be loving and respectful in all aspects of our lives.
Fourth, I was once again reminded of the depth of the struggle here. It was eye-opening for me to try to make a family budget work when a good monthly income is around $90 in the villages. People have to choose between eating less, keeping their kids at home from school, or going another year without buying an outfit to wear.
We are working on translating the material into K’ekchi’ and modifying it to the specific needs of the communities. For instance, some are illiterate and there are some chapters that will take many weeks to get through. We are eager to begin presenting the material after the April/May corn planting season.
We are excited to get the material into the hands of those that need it most. Please join us in praying that God will speak through us and inspire new hope and that we will see new fruit spring forth.