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  Working toward African Ministers' Economic Self-Sufficiency
 
ydlee  2012-03-03 16:13:31 


 

Working toward African Ministers’ Economic Self-Sufficiency

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Drafted by:

Yeong Dai Lee, Missionary in Brazil

Founder of Seminário Teológico Reformado, São Paulo, Brazil

Founder of Escola Missão Abrako (Missionary Training School), São Paulo, Brazil

Founder of Seminário Teológico, Guinea-Bissau (West Africa)

 






Specific Aims

I propose to create a ministry that provides economic self-sufficiency for native ministers from Guinea-Bissau. I hope to fund an agricultural/livestock farming project that can provide for the living expenses of five current church planters, as well as five additional potential church planters among seminary students attending Seminário Teológico Abrako in Guinea-Bissau. This project will improve the economic conditions of ten initial participants, but it has the potential to create a funding base for an endless group of new participants.

 

 

 

 

 

Justifications for proposal

  1. The extreme level of poverty of the people of Guinea-Bissau renders them unable to pay the salary of their congregations’ ministers
  2. Current seminarians lack the motivation and courage to envision a sustainable future of ministry for themselves due to the inability of ministers to sustain themselves economically
  3. This project can ultimately create a model of economic self-sufficiency that can be taken up by others in Guinea-Bissau, improving the overall economic conditions of the country

 

 

 

 

 

History of Guinea-Bissau

Based on information gathered from Yahoo.korea:

  1. Guinea-Bissau claimed independence from Portugal in 1974, but the country has not experienced any path toward industrialization or economic growth. A beer factory started several years ago, but it closed as a result of insufficient sales.
  2. Frequent episodes of political unrest have occurred since then. The state’s inability to control its citizens, ironically, led to a relative amount of religious freedom in the country, compared to neighboring countries such as Senegal or Gambia.
  3. Dearth of state funding has led to a malfunctioning educational system with a 63% national illiteracy rate.
  4. A poor health system has led to a 50% infant mortality rate and a 33% maternal mortality rate. There are two general hospitals in the country, but their facilities are poor and medical services suffer from lack of medications.
  5.  
  1. Per capita income is $760, but this statistic is skewed by the presence of European immigrants, who compose 95% of the nation’s upper class. The native population survives mostly through small businesses operations with a monthly income of $30, and the majority of the unemployed hold temporary jobs sporadically. 

 

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Map of Africa

 

Map of Guinea-Bissau


Project Plans

  1. Given the lack of agricultural expertise knowledge in Guinea-Bissau, we will invite an agricultural expert from Brazil to come and give a special series of lectures to seminarians on farming. The shared language of Portuguese between Brazilians and Guinea-Bissauans will facilitate this exchange of knowledge.

 

  1. We will purchase or lease a plot of uncultivated land (around 3,000 sq. ft) close to the seminary. We will register the purchase of the land under the name of the seminary.

 

  1. Seminarians will use the purchased land for vegetable cultivation.

 

 

  1. When the vegetable cultivation succeeds, seminarians will begin livestock farming. Each participant will borrow $380 to purchase one pair of male and female goats ($150), one pair of male and female pigs ($200) and thirty chicks ($30).[1] Each seminarian will borrow an additional $500 to construct a barn for the livestock and $420 for living expenses for the first six months. After six months, we predict that seminarians will gain a sustainable living income by selling vegetables. Each seminarian will thus borrow a total of $1,300.

 

  1. After the visit from a Brazilian agricultural expert, we will continue to administer this program under the agricultural expertise of missionary Jong Tae Chung. Associated with Paul’s Missions in Korea, he had extensive experience with agriculture while working with greenhouses in Uruguay, was commissioned to serve as a missionary in Guinea-Bissau, and is currently undergoing language training in Guinea-Bissau.

 

 

  1. Brazilian missionaries who possess a minimal knowledge of farming already gave ten hours of lectures on farming to the seminarians. Based on the interest seminarians already expressed in such lectures, we predict that their interest will only grow with this expanded program.

 

  1. Upon completing 18 months of the program, participants will be able to sell chicks. Based on profits coming from this sale, participants will then be required to pay back to the seminary $50-100 a month for the original loan they borrowed. We will then use this capital to create new loans for new participants. This will ensure that additional students can participate in this program through a revolving cycle of loan repayment from previous participants and loan provision for new participants. We will select financial and maintenance administrators among the seminarians to coordinate this effort.

 

  1. In cases of livestock loss caused by inappropriate management or illegal theft, a bond made up of three participants will guarantee the repayment of the lost livestock. If it is established that the loss was caused by livestock illness or any other uncontrollable external circumstance, funds from the common reserve ($3,000) will be used for repayment and redistribution of new livestock.

 

Based on my previous experience raising rabbits, pigs, and goats in Korea, I believe that I will be able to efficiently administer this ministry.

 


Budget Plans

It would be ideal to purchase the land necessary for this project. However, given the possibility of limited funds, we propose two budget plans below: one for purchase; the other for lease of the land.

 

**Based on purchase of land

Items

Expense amount

 

Notes 

Agricultural expert lecturer

flight

$2,100 (from São Paulo to

Guinea-Bissau)

 

 

Land purchase (for 10

trainees)

$5,500 X 10 = $55,000

 

Each plot = 50x20 sq. meters (1,000 

sq. meters ~ 3,000 sq. ft)

Barn construction

$500 X 10 = $5,000

 

Stipend for 10 trainees for 6

months

$70 X 6 months = $420 X 10 people = $4,200

Trainees will gain a livable income

through the sale of vegetables after 6 months

Purchase of livestock

$380 X 10 = $3,800

One pair of goats ($150) + one pair of pigs ($200) + thirty chicks ($30) = $380

Livestock feed for 6 months

$70 X 6 months = 420 X 10 people = $4,200

 

Common reserve

$3,000

Miscellaneous expenses

Total

$77,300

 

 

 

 

**Based on a long-term lease of land

Items

Expense amount

 

Notes 

Farming lecturer flight

$2,100 (from São Paulo to

Guinea-Bissau)

 

 

Land lease (for 10

trainees)

$100 monthly X 10 people X 24 months = $24,000

 

Each plot = 50x20 sq. meters (1,000 

sq. meters ~ 3,000 sq. ft)

Barn construction

$500 X 10 = $5,000

 

Stipend for 10 trainees for 6

months

$70 X 6 months = $420 X 10 people = $4,200

Trainees will gain a livable income

through the sale of vegetables after 6 months

Purchase of livestock

$380 X 10 = $3,800

One pair of goats ($150) + one pair of

pigs ($200) + thirty chicks ($30) = $380

Livestock feed for 6 months

$70 X 6 months = 420 X 10 people = $4,200

 

Common reserve

$3,000

Miscellaneous expenses

Total

$46,300

 

We believe that this project will allow seminarians to reach economic self-sufficiency in two years.

 


Project Impact

  1. This ministry will allow seminarians to have their own sustainable living income without relying on their congregation members’ small contributions
  2. Given the economic sustainability of this model, a growing group of students from Seminário Teológico Abrako will also gain a passion for church-planting and economic self-sufficiency
  3. Recruitment efforts for the seminary will also be facilitated as new students will be attracted to both the theological and farming training available at this seminary
  4. Economic stability brought through this ministry will improve seminarians’ general life conditions, releasing them to devote themselves more fully to seminary training and ministry. Currently, we have postponed prayer training, Scriptures memorization training, and street evangelism training due to their strained economic conditions
  5. The growth of the Christian Church in Guinea-Bissau will have a positive impact in the entire surrounding region. The Islamic faith has taken a hold of neighboring countries Senegal and Gambia, and a thriving Christian community in Guinea-Bissau would effectively block the growth of Islam in the region. Currently, 2% of native Guinea-Bissauans belong to the Protestant Church, which is much higher than the regional rate. This country would therefore serve as a strategic region for the growth of the Christian Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biosketch (Organization)

Global Partners was the first mission organization founded in Korea. Recently, it was acclaimed by the Korean Mission Council (KWC) as the mission organization that best supports missionaries. Currently it supports more than 300 missionaries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biosketch (Project Director)

  1. Yeong Dai Lee lived in Brazil for 21 years (1970-91), then another 14 years in the United States (1991-2005). His home church, Sa-Rang Community Church from Southern California, sponsored him to establish a ministry in Brazil in 2005. He’s currently in his 7th year of mission ministry there.
  2. Upon discovering that 80% of Brazilian ministers do not have theological training, Lee took on multiple efforts to bridge this educational gap. He organized ten training seminars for Brazilian ministers and visited more than fifty local Brazilian churches.
  3. His passion to build thriving Christian communities expanded from Brazil to West Africa. He began to recruit Brazilian missionaries and lay leaders to engage in mission efforts in West Africa.
  4. He recruited six Brazilian families who are now ministering in various places across Africa and Latin America (Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and Colombia). These missionaries have planted their own churches and have been actively engaging in building the Kingdom of God in their respective communities.
  5. In his efforts to increase the level of awareness about the Christian Church in West Africa, he organized a number of trips for Brazilian ministers to visit their neighbors across the Atlantic Ocean. Through such efforts, he was able to found Seminário Teológico Abrako in Guinea-Bissau in October of 2010. Currently, this seminary is led through the instruction of four local ministers and five foreign ministers. He hopes that this seminary will train a new generation of native Guinea-Bissauan ministers, whose livelihoods will not require enormous amount of fund-raising efforts. Commissioning missionaries from the United States or Brazil requires a minimum monthly income of $2,000, but this local seminary will easily produce dozens of native ministers within the next two years.
  6. In order to ensure a sustainable local ministry, he hopes that this project will provide economic stability for the local ministers, who otherwise would experience an inordinate amount of stress while making ends meet and meeting the spiritual needs of their congregants.
  7. More information about his ministries can be found at www.abrako.com

 

 

Appendix

 

   

Students at Seminário Teológico, Guinea-Bissau, 2010                 Students during a class meeting, Guineea-Bissau, October 2011



[1] It would be highly beneficial to purchase cattle, but they come with a prohibitive cost at $500/cow.



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 Working toward African Ministers' Economic Self-Sufficiency     ydlee 2012/03/03 48477 7229
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