Moving Forward with the Innovation Center
Innovating for a Better Tomorrow
Systems that Create Shalom
Throughout our years in Mozambique, we have focused on leadership development as we came alongside some amazing Mozambicans with vision and passion for transforming their country. Our next steps stem from the question, “Now what?” How do we take all that we have learned in these 10 years of being among these people and turn it into something broader, deeper, and even more lasting and impactful? How do we reach more potential leaders to confront broken systems and create Shalom?
Enter the Innovation Center
We are working to distill all that we have learned about how to specifically empower people from this culture to be the change their nation needs, to bring transformation where there is struggle, and to bring Shalom peace and wholeness where there is pain and brokenness. The Innovation Center is going to be our way of taking all these concepts and creating a path for many more to follow, learning how to bring holistic and lasting change to their entire communities.
Building Faith-Driven Businesses
One strategy we have found to create this lasting impact is through empowering believers to start small businesses with the purpose of helping their communities. This creates many different benfits all at the same time:
- Providing discipleship for believers who don’t know how to live out their faith in the marketplace, with topics like integrity, honesty, legality, and avoiding corruption
- Encouraging people to examine the problems around them and find a sustainable solution that brings wholeness to a broken system
- Addressing the youth unemployment crisis by helping them create work in a context where it’s hard to find a job
New Partnerships for a Growing Department
In December of last year, we learned about another organization called Sinapis. We were thrilled to learn that they have a very similar heart to empower entrepreneurs to build the Kingdom of God in cities around the world through Christ-centered businesses that seek to impact their communities. Jon and Bernardo, our National Director, were able to travel to Egypt to participate in a conference with Sinapis and other like-minded groups, and it was a fruitful time of developing new partnerships to help us move forward in this exciting direction.
We are in the beginning stage of a brand new Incubation Center that will help these entrepreneurs take their ideas and turn them into realities. Sinapis has several training courses that we are looking to adapt and use that will help these young people grow spiritually and practically as they confront the systemic problems of their society.
Connecting Farmers to the Global Economy
Mozambican farmers are often at a steep disadvantage because they are completely cut off from the outside world. Transport is hard to come by, communication is difficult, and many times they are at the mercy of truck drivers to come and buy their harvests. Many times, these drivers take advantage of the farmers’ ignorance of fair market prices and only pay them a fraction of what their crops are worth. Our new app and its corresponding system is called the Farmer Agent Management System (FAMS), and it aims to gather all these people in agriculture together in a way that all can stay informed about the current market situations and suffer less exploitation.
This one small change can have huge, multi-generational impacts. Rural areas have been trapped in crippling poverty for centuries, and after researching the issue we discovered that this lack of connection to the outside world is one of the key elements holding these people back. If these farmers can band together to start taking control of their negotiations, this can impact their families and communities and bring them into the interconnected 21st century where they deserve a chance to thrive.
Jon and Bello, the leader of the tech team, were able to travel the first week of March to a rural region west of us and launch some new farmer collectives to help them understand the new system and get the most out of it.
- For multiple fruitful trips and safe travels
- For the FAMS project’s rollout going well so far
- For the Innovation Center to grow in size and impact over the rest of the year, and for the participants to grasp how to bring the Kingdom of God to the marketplace
- For many lives to be changed through the FAMS project – as they are helped economically that they will recognize God’s provision in their lives and turn to Him in everything