January 29, 2013

Dear reader,

In this issue, I talk about the challenges and opportunities we find in the "First Steps" of any new endeavor. I hope you will be inspired to take the first steps of a new and exciting path of your own.

Thanks for your continued support!


The First Step Is Almost Certainly The Most Important!

by Vince Vetro

I can still remember the very first meeting we had of the newly created charity called The David/Jonathan Project of Ecuador. Our first meeting took place in a mall in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2007. In attendance, Vince Vetro, Pedro Rivadeneira and Mercedes Rivadeneira. It was around 4 pm in the afternoon and we were sitting in the food court.


Up until this point I had been doing work in various parts of Ecuador but it had been very informal. Pedro and Mercedes knew about my work and were very interested in helping out.  There was a great deal of excitement combined with a real sense of anxiety. We had a vision of what we wanted to do but did not have a clear path in which we would move.


It was at this point that the first step forward was so important. The anxiety of the unknown could certainly have stopped us from taking that first step. The first steps in most endeavors into the unknown conjure up the question, "But what if...?" But what if we can't find someone to lend money too, but what if they do not pay us back, but what if people make fun of us for the mistakes we will make, and the most important one, but what if we fail.


First Step Forward: Bringing pastors, and lay leaders together from different parts of Ecuador and Mexico as we envision new steps moving forward.
I thank God for giving us the courage to take that first step forward. I thank Him that He gave us His heart and that it is better to give than to receive. I remember the first two people we ever gave loans to. My good friend Sylvario and a woman I will never forget Monica Cox. I remember them not just because they repaid multiple loans; I remember them because God allowed our organization to play a part in the story of their salvation and how their lives were changed as they grew in their faith.



There are hundreds upon hundreds of stories I can tell of helping people out of poverty and watching their self-esteem grow as they developed confidence in themselves. Many have come to faith and many are still on the journey.


Have there been challenges? I have just as many stories of struggle to tell but they don't compare with the visions and memories of all the smiles and tears of joy. Was that first step a good step? Was it the right step? You bet ya!


Are you considering taking a new step forward, a move in a new direction where the road is not clear? Have faith in the God who created all things, in the God who put his heart into yours, and the God who inspires you to dream the impossible.


Featuring Dean Martin 

by Diana Bishop  

As an entrepreneur, Dean Martin understands what it takes to run a successful business. He is Chairman of Melmart Distributor's Inc., a family-run flooring company his father started more than 40 years ago with offices from Ontario to Newfoundland.


Dean Martin and his wife Mary

"Our company has always instilled in our staff that we don't just want to make a profit, we want to make a difference!"


As a result, in addition to the other charities the company supports, Melmart contributes a monthly donation of $300 to The Lending Journey and has been doing so for the last three years.


"Micro-finance just speaks to us as a company," says Dean. "It is gratifying to think that one three hundred loan can help a woman in Latin America start a small business. That's 12 loans a year, 36 since we started, and those donations are self-perpetuating, constantly being recycled to help more and more entrepreneurs all the time."


"What better way to empower someone life's than to provide the resources they need and a hand-up to create a better life for themselves and their family!"


Meet Christina Ruiz Aviles


Christina is a married, 32 year mother of 2 young boys. Three years ago she started a small pizza restaurant out of her home. Like many small business people, she had the equipment but lacked the resources to buy extra products to expand her small business. Christina did not feel comfortable going to a traditional bank so came the The Lending Journey instead. This is Christina's first loan with TLJ but already has become a good friend and strong contributor to our team.

Can you help us furnish our new office? 


We need...
a telephone system ($500)
desks and dividers ($200)
plastic chairs ($5.00 each)

Will you join is in Managua?  


Come join us in March 4th-10th as we plan an All Women's Mission to Managua. You will also take part in the inauguration of our first official office.

"I have traveled across the globe and met people from all walks of life, but never have I experienced anything like I did on my trip with Vince and The Lending Journey to Nicaragua." 

Message from a
Lending Journey Tripper

"I have eight children and the loan from The Lending Journey has offered me new opportunities to support myself and my children.

From a grateful Lending Journey loan recipient