Business as Mission in Myanmar

Church leaders in Myanmar discuss cooperative business opportunities in their dioceses.

Church leaders in Myanmar discuss cooperative business opportunities in their dioceses.

A Christian Response to Poverty

How should churches respond to the challenges of poverty and unemployment? And how does the mission of the church contribute to economic development and social transformation?

These are questions that many church leaders around the world wrestle with.

As a Christian leader in one of the poorest countries in Asia, Archbishop Stephen has a vision for self-reliant churches across Myanmar. He is eager to see community members free and empowered to use their God-given gifts and talents to serve and enrich their communities. Archbishop Stephen believes in this vision so deeply, he recently invited Five Talents to conduct a Business as Mission training for clergy and church leaders from across Myanmar.

Archbishop Steven with Mothers’ Union Leaders and Five Talents trainers in Myanmar.

Archbishop Steven with Mothers’ Union Leaders and Five Talents trainers in Myanmar.

We see the Glory of God from one degree of glory to another. We witness it in the small business activity where there was none before and in the of love and financial gifts that pour out from poor Anglicans in towns like Kwam-bi and Hpa An, evidence of the transformative power of the Gospel.
— Rev. Cavin Philbin, Business as Mission Trainer

Envisioning Economic Development

On February 18th and 19th, a team from Five Talents engaged 55 church leaders from eight dioceses across Myanmar on Christian Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Finance/Record Keeping, and Business Development. The aim of the training was to envision church leaders and encourage savings programs and microenterprise development in their communities.

During the training, church leaders broke into small groups and explored different opportunities for business as mission within their dioceses. The leaders focused primarily on agricultural and cooperative businesses and developed models and plans for rice and coffee farming, yam production, soap making, organic fertilizer production, and more. The leaders are eager to take these lessons back to their communities and encourage local entrepreneurs and small scale farmers to stimulate business development.

Participants in the Business as Mission Training in Myanmar.

Participants in the Business as Mission Training in Myanmar.

In Myanmar, Five Talents has worked closely with the Anglican Church and with Mothers’ Union, one of the largest women’s ministries in the country. Together we’ve seen a host of new businesses created and hundreds of families increase their income and provide a brighter future for their children. Our hope is to expand these programs to serve even more churches and communities across Myanmar.

Your prayers and support help to achieve this goal. Make a gift to Five Talents today and share hope and opportunity with families in need.

Growing Profit: How Small Scale Farmers in Burundi are Building Business

In our Burundi program, many women and men are learning how to read and write for the first time.

Once the literacy and business training is completed, these folks use their new skills to begin saving and lending money as a group. Each savings group creates its own constitution and sets its own interest rates and penalty fees.

Francois in Makamba was so impressed by his wife's transformation that he decided to join a savings group himself.

"My wife joined this association, and when she had saved enough, she leased a plot of land and asked me to cultivate rice with her. She encouraged me to join this association. I thought, 'What is she doing?' But I came along and saw what it was about and joined. Before, I didn't have 1,000 Burundian Francs ($0.64) to spare, but I managed to save and now I have a loan. I didn't have land, but I have been able to get some."

Land ownership has opened a whole new realm of opportunities for Francois. He is able to plant, grow, and harvest food for his family as well as sale in the market. Increased income means a better education for his children and improved health care.

Many other members of the savings group in Makamba are also experiencing growth and opportunity. Above, many of Francois' co-members gather at their local church.

Learn more about Five Talents' programs in Burundi and help an entrepreneur build a brighter future.