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February 21, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Building the Entrepreneurial Spirit with Generosity
In September 2017, Puerto Rico residents were left devastated after being in the path of Category 5 Hurricane Maria. Lives were lost, homes were destroyed, and the country was looking at a major rebuild because of this natural disaster that was considered to be the worst the islands had ever faced in recorded history.
In the wake of this, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale sent resources and finances to help assist the islands during this time. We soon learned our resources were not being wholly distributed to the people in need. Therefore, we decided to do something innovative to ensure our help was reaching those who needed it. We paused sending our resources and kept our donations in an account for 18 months while we cultivated a program with our partners on the ground that would be the most successful initiative possible for Puerto Rico.
It was revealed to us that many universities in Puerto Rico had lost their accreditation and people could not find work that enabled them to provide for their families. Therefore, many natives started moving to the United States in an effort to continue their education and find better work opportunities. In light of these circumstances, and through much prayer, an opportunity arose for us to partner with the Ministry of Education in Puerto Rico. The idea was to create an online entrepreneurship program that, based on biblical principles, would help students identify their gifts and build businesses in their hometowns that could flourish. This is how the Puerto Rico Entrepreneurship Program was birthed.
One of the biggest challenges for Puerto Rico residents is the amount of corruption they face on a daily basis. This is why our education program is geared toward helping students learn valuable skills while creating long-term opportunities for them and their families—and it’s taught with an ethos of generosity at the center. We fully believe the best way to fight corruption is through a heart of generosity.
With this program, we hope to:
We’d love for our Calvary family to be involved in this program and care for it as much as we do. Here are three ways you can get involved:
One of the most significant ways we need support right now is through prayer. Because this program is continually adapting to fit our students’ needs, please pray specifically that the right doors continue to stay open. Pray God continues to give our leadership team the wisdom needed to continually develop this program in the best ways possible and allow it to flourish globally.
All funding will go toward the future expansion of the program in Puerto Rico and other countries requesting the curriculum. One of our long-term goals is to translate the program into different languages and print leadership guides for the teachers and books for our students. You can donate to the Puerto Rico Entrepreneurship Program through the Global Outreach Fund.
It’s one of our goals to offer mission trip opportunities in the future. Due to restrictions because of COVID-19, we’re unable to make travel plans right now. Please check back soon for potential opportunities. These trips will allow you to see firsthand how God is using this program to strengthen lives and encourage our students and educators.