Archives For dwasik

As we approach the town of Kamenka (KAH-men-kuh) on a busy two-lane road, we pass dozens of trucks going the other way carrying fruits and vegetables. Some of these trucks are transporting produce to local and regional markets in surrounding cities like Zaporozhye, but there are larger refrigerated trucks that are traveling as far away as Kyiv and Moscow.

I’m traveling with Andre Barkov, the managing director of HOPE’s microfinance institution in Ukraine, and Natasha Kurilenko, the director of marketing for HOPE Ukraine. We are traveling to Kamenka to visit our local branch, witness the greenhouse economy that has developed, and understand the ways that HOPE Ukraine’s loans are providing a catalyst for economic development in the region.    Continue Reading…

Our leadership conference continues. We are studying Spiritual Leadership, by Henry and Richard Blackaby. Sessions discussed, among other things, the pitfalls that can derail spiritual leaders. The Blackabys discuss 10 of them. It was interesting to see how engaged the group was during this session. All of us have known, either in ministry or corporate domains, leaders who have fallen from significant leadership positions because of one or more of these issues. And, of course, we can all see our own tendencies in these as well. Here are a few of the pitfalls we discussed:

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My focus here in Philippines has shifted: earlier in my trip I visited CCT’s programs and saw their ministry firsthand. Now the emphasis is on leadership training. I am here with leaders and board members of Christian development ministries from around the world. We have moved out of downtown Manila and are now in Tagaytay, which is about 50 miles outside of town. It is a beautiful setting. CCT has a retreat center here where they host visitors and bring staff members for all sorts of training.

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On my trip to the Philippines, I was privileged to visit microfinance client meetings with HOPE’s partner CCT. Microfinance is CCT’s largest ministry, and senior leaders refer to it as the “backbone” or “platform” on which their other outreach programs reside. We visited groups in a poor section of Manila near the national prison. Our first meeting was with “Fellowship Group 23,” a group of 19 women (joined by two kids, a cat, and a rooster), all dressed in red shirts to show solidarity with one another.

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We spent the morning at the Cabrera branch in Manila, seeing CCT’s many ministries in action. CCT’s strategic emphasis is to build a broad set of programs and services on the foundation of their microfinance branch network. CCT has 145 branches across the Philippines, providing a great backbone for broadening their ministry. The Cabrera community center is a great example of this transformation:

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Hello there, everyone. My name is Dave Wasik, and it’s my pleasure to serve as the vice president of operations for HOPE International. I am writing this post from a Chipotle restaurant at Washington Dulles airport, about to begin my journey to Manila, Philippines, to visit the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), our partner in the Philippines. CCT is a cherished partner for HOPE, and we have learned a tremendous amount from them over the years.

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