Videre (Vidēre:[Latin] verb – to see, to perceive, to comprehend)
Videre was birthed out of a vision for a sustainable evangelism and discipleship platform in the developing world. After much research, micro-finance seemed to be a promising platform. In April 2009, Videre launched its first microfinance site in Yei, Sudan (now belonging to South Sudan). In a country devastated by 21 years of war, with little infrastructure, economic and political instability, and a 97% illiteracy rate, South Sudan might have been the least likely place for Videre to start any form of business-related venture. However, feeling called to go, Videre started a microfinance pilot program through the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, an indigenous church in Yei, handing out loans to 89 loan recipients and averaging $156 per loan. With this money, loan recipients grew their businesses and generated profits to feed their families, bought medicine when sick, and paid for school fees. Businesses ranged from selling fish in the open market to weaving sweaters to building mud huts. But even more important than economic gain is that 89 loan recipients heard the Good News of Christ’s redemption and restoration of them and their country.
As Videre ran its pilot in Sudan, it recognized the need for basic business and vocational training in order for microloans to be truly effective in that region. The success of microfinance is dependent on the assumption that the poor have the ability to create viable micro-businesses that generate substantial profit. Often, the poverty does not start at the capital level but at the entrepreneurial-thinking level. Videre recognized the need to implement a business as mission program in place of the traditional microfinance program by mobilizing men and women with business and entrepreneurial talents to train, disciple and equip the local people to share the Gospel through viable businesses.
Videre halted its operations in South Sudan in 2010, and worked to implement a micro-business as mission (Micro-BAM) model. In December 2010, Videre began taking small teams of volunteers to Yendi, Ghana to teach one of the three phases of our business training curriculum. In March 2014, Videre expanded into another West African country (location undisclosed for security purposes) in partnership with a church in Dallas. Since 2010, Videre has vetted 196 program participants, funded 133 entrepreneurs (averaging $550 per loan), and impacted over 30 villages. Through their businesses, our entrepreneurs have been able to provide for the needs of their families and the needs of others, both spiritually and physically, seeing over 35 people in a predominantly Muslim region accept and follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior!