A Journey Beyond the End of the Road

Last week I enjoyed talking with folks who are excited to be part of achieving our dreams.

A few years ago a Five Talents team was traveling in the hill country of Burundi. Their 4-wheel drive vehicle drove to the end of the road and then kept going. They drove along a foot path until they got to a village.

A crowd emerged, singing, dancing, and welcoming our group. They were so excited to share how they had been successful at forming savings groups and starting new businesses.

When our group heard there was a waiting list of over 50,000 people who needed literacy and business training, it sounded like an amazing challenge. But thankfully, the last two years have started to turn into an amazing dream come true.

The growth of our programs in Asia, Africa, and South America keeps taking us beyond “the end of the road.” We are so grateful to see this dream unfolding. And we’re grateful that you are part of making this possible.

Thank you,

Dale Stanton-Hoyle,
Executive Director

The Power of Patience and Pocket Change

During this season of Advent, as we wait and prepare for the coming of Christ, I’m reminded that waiting is an important part of faith.

Patience is never easy, but it can achieve so much.

In Five Talents savings groups around the world, members learn to work together and to wait, saving and planning to start their own small businesses.

From the time families start their training, it often takes six months to a year until their first loans are available. But the results are tremendous.

Watch this inspiring short video to learn more.

-Dale Stanton-Hoyle
Executive Director

Living Between a Rock and a Hard Place

 A Savings Group Member in South Sudan

Our Five Talents team is traveling in South Sudan now, learning how difficult life can be and how important savings and loan groups are.

Challenges and Opportunities in South Sudan

Imagine what life would be like with 1,000% inflation. Your $10-dollar bill could be worth only $1 at the end of the year. When paper currency seems to become almost worthless in a matter of months, would you invest in goats? Chickens? A cow, if you could afford one?

What if you were the second or third wife and any animal you buy instantly becomes the property of your husband, no longer available for you to sell? How could you save to buy medicines for when your children become sick? How could you save enough to become an entrepreneur under such terribly difficult conditions?

Cushioning the Effects of Hyper-Inflation

If you joined a Five Talents savings group and saved your money there, in South Sudan you could earn about 20-30% interest per month. Even if you could only save 50 cents a week, about average for the areas we’ve seen, in about six months you could take out a loan and start a new business. We’ve seen some of the market stalls, the mini-restaurants, the “giant donut holes” being cooked in oil (they were yummy!), the simple tea sales.

Our programs can’t eliminate all the difficulties of hyper-inflation, but we’ve seen how they offer hope, and often success, to these amazing people. We’ve seen the smiles on their faces that indicate their pride in their independence and what they have accomplished.

Thank you for making a difference. Until next Monday morning, blessings,

Dale Stanton-Hoyle,
Executive Director

Tragedy, Trauma, and Triumph: Lessons from our Trip

Good Monday morning. This week a Five Talents team is visiting with partners in South Sudan. As we travel, we request your prayers for continued peace-building and healing in this young nation.

One of the newest elements of Five Talents ministry in South Sudan is trauma healing. Many of the families we work with have been displaced from their homes or affected by conflict. As communities come together to save and start small businesses, they are learning new tools to heal and build a brighter future.

Watch the short video above to learn more about Five Talents work in South Sudan, featuring powerful stories of the impact your partnership is making.

Thank you for walking with Five Talents,

Dale Stanton-Hoyle,
Executive Director

Twenty Years of Transformation

Your Are Making a World of Difference!

We were so grateful to celebrate our Twentieth Anniversary at events in northern Virginia with friends this last week. You all have made it possible for some of the poorest people in the world to start new businesses and to support their families.

For those of you who didn’t get to see the new videos capturing the work of our partners and celebrating the work of new entrepreneurs, check out the one minute video above. For full coverage of the events, click here.

Thank you!

Dale Stanton-Hoyle
Executive Director

Life on the Water's Edge: Reflections from Myanmar

 Myanmar Delta House

Last week, we finished our travels in Southeast Asia, working with program leaders there and visiting entrepreneurs in the low-lying Delta region.

inside-house-web.jpg

As we approached the homes of the savings/loan group members, we started to see small homes, like the one pictured here, hovering on stilts above dark waters that looked a bit threatening. I found myself wondering if there was disease or snakes or other things I didn’t want to know about in the waters. And I assumed that the people lived near the water because of a lack of space on dry land.

Then we met with the members of the savings/loan groups and saw how excited they were to show us their businesses. We saw how they used the nearby waters as a source of life to help their businesses thrive: fish ponds; duck farms; papaya farms and more.

I keep learning from our partners that I need to trust and remember that we are each given the talents we need to thrive and to do good work.

-Dale Stanton-Hoyle
Executive Director

P.S. Click here for more photos and facts from Myanmar.