A good job is the best way to fight poverty. This fact has formed the foundation of my career leading Belay Enterprises over the last 19 years. Employment helps people move beyond the problems of being disadvantaged. It ends homelessness, reduces crime and allows people to support their families and engage in the creativity God intends for all to enjoy through work. I have seen first-hand in Denver how good jobs in faithful businesses transform lives.
This Fall, I have a tremendous opportunity to take what we’ve learned at Belay and partner with Denver-based WorldVenture on its new M2M project aiming to impact changing cities throughout Europe.
Like in the United States, Europe has experienced an influx of refugees from the Middle East, fleeing violence and persecution. The M2M project is launching community centers in strategic cities throughout Europe to help refugees flourish and experience the Good News of Jesus. These community centers in places like Strasbourg, London and Barcelona will partner with existing churches to provide language classes, cultural integration activities, trauma counseling, school tutoring, and my area of interest, business development for employment and job training. For instance, the French government has indicated a willingness to help fund the startup of businesses to employ refugees who currently experience high rates of unemployment. All together, these activities aim to introduce refugees to the gospel and raise up small community churches.
In late October, I plan to travel with a core group of WorldVenture workers, church leaders, and partner agencies to discuss the vision and practice of the M2M Network. We will visit an existing center in Madrid and a developing Center in Strasbourg where we will coach and evaluate community assets. A big part of this trip will be exploring ways we can support M2M’s job creation activities in the future.
I am a big fan of what WorldVenture is doing through these community centers and very thankful they have invited me out to help. The European refugee situation provides a unique moment in time where the church can really exemplify love to hurting people who otherwise would not be in an environment in their home countries to experience Jesus’ love. And it’s exciting to see the French church and government catch a vision for economic development on behalf of refugees.
Are you interested in helping? Perhaps, you could make a donation to support Worldventures efforts, and in particular, the $2500 travel cost portion of this trip? If you feel led to help out, go to WorldVenture.com and click the “Donate” button on the homepage. Click on “Quick Giving Option” and then follow the instructions. Select designation by typing in “Transformational Ventures”.
Thank you for your interest in creating jobs for those who have challenges finding employment both here in Denver, through the efforts of Belay Enterprises, and around the world through WorldVenture. I fully believe God will use this trip to build the ministry capacity of these budding community centers, growing the impact of the gospel.