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Archive for May 13, 2013


May 13

Rabinal Achi Partnership – Microfinance Ministry Update

2013 | by Clint | Category: Global,Prayer,Rabinal Achi

“Poverty alleviation is the ministry of reconciliation: moving people closer to glorifying God by living in right relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation.” p. 78, When Helping Hurts.

Back in March of 2010, a small dream of helping the Achi people by helping them help themselves was beginning to become a reality, after several years of hoping, praying, and planning.

Los Encuentros Silvia weaving (20)

Traditional Rabinal Achi Weaving.

Here is the story and latest from our Achi Partnership Microfinance Ministry Lead, John Landis:

DSC just initiated the 4th annual loan cycle, from the original loan that started in March 2010.  This loan was to Los Encuentros, and started with approx $2300.  Our interest rate is 20% annually (vs 40% annually or 10% monthly being offered locally on the amount outstanding).  Each term the interest has been added to the principal for re-loaning to the group in an effort to help them learn principles of saving, and thus re-investing for economic growth over time.  We also have added about $300 one year.  The group also adds 20% per year through the savings/interest process, so that the latest amount loaned out now is approx $4500.

The individual loans have been used for buying inventory (thread, cloth, etc) for weavers, and there have been some loans to families for planting various crops in their family fields.  The group has actively policed itself, so that members to the loan group have been added or dropped each yearly term according to what their needs might be or if a member is not abiding by group policies.

Los Encuentros meeting (33)

Examples of Rabinal Achi hand woven textiles.

An additional facet to the loan is the Community Health Evangelism (CHE) teaching that is involved for each member.  Members are required to participate in the monthly CHE teaching sessions, even if they are not believers.  The CHE sessions involve teaching of business principals, hygiene practices, and biblical principals, among other topics.

It’s clear that as we invest in the economical, God is using it to impact them Spiritual.

Our CHE partner in Guatemala, Doctor Jacobo writes:

Hello brothers,

I want to share the blessings that are happening lately in our ministry here in Guatemala.  We have been working with the women of the communities in relation to textiles, plus they are getting other forms of how to generate more income for their households and are also working on the gardens has been a great achievement for this community ask you to continue praying for our ministry here in Guatemala I send a photo attached.

Blessings

For His cause  Jacobo &  Jannette

Beyond loaning out money to these folks in order to help them rise up economically from cyclical poverty, we have been able to help them locate and leverage a market for their hand made products here in Albuquerque.  Beth Meier of DSC has served in this capacity and describes the ministry here:

Los Encuentros (22)

Los Encuentros Weaving Co-operative

Desert Springs Church has numerous projects in serving and working alongside th

e Rabinal Achi in Guatemala. One is to provide Albuquerque retail stores with their textile products.   Towards the end of 2011, I was approached to research if there would be any local stores that would be interested in carrying the woven products of the Rabinal Achi. They have a gift of making a beautiful product but had very limited markets for selling it. PeacecraftThere were two stores here in Albuquerque that were interested, Peacecraft in the Nob Hill area and Elaine’s in Old Town.

In January 2012, I traveled to San Miguel, Guatemala. With the assistance of Rodrigo Barrera and Eder Ixcopal, I met with Sylvia and the rest of the weavers in Los Encuentros. We explained what the stores had told me in regards of what they were interested in.

Product in Peacecraft (6)

Rabinal Achi hand woven coin purses at Peacecraft store here in Albuquerque

When Dr. Jacobo and his wife Jannette came to visit Desert Springs Church last October, he brought textiles for the stores. The textiles were taken to Peacecraft for them to sell. The items included shoulder bags, coin purses, and wall hangings.

Product in Peacecraft (4)

Rabinal Achi Hand Made bags at Peacecraft here in Albuquerque

It is our vision to continue to work with Peacecraft. From their feedback, we know what is selling well. We have communicated with Dr. Jacobo what we would like to be in the next shipment of textiles. We also desire to get textiles in additional stores in the Albuquerque area and the possibility of selling online.

If you would like to help with this ministry, please email global@desertspringschurch.org to learn more or to get started.

Our prayer requests:

  • Pray for us as we seek God’s will for direction as we continue with this. Pray for more stores to be interested in carrying product.
  • Pray as we team up with Dr. Jacobo, Sylvia, the weavers, and anyone else involved for good communication, no confusion, wisdom, and that we are a team in this endeavor.
  • Pray that God is glorified in all this, that the weavers and all others involved are impacted spiritually, and that we are a witness to the stores we interact with.

Any gifts through a missions envelope or online designated to Guatemala Microfinance will be used to help with these and future ministry plans.