Keith Jaspers – Founder & President | The Rainbow Network | Springfield, MO
A holistic model to breaking the cycle of poverty in Nicaragua through Home Ownership, Micro-finance, Health & Education.
Keith Jaspers started Rainbow Network in 1995 with his wife Karen as a way to share the success they had found in life. He served on the Habitat for Humanity Board with former President Jimmy Carter, Millard Fuller and author Tony Campolo among others. Using the lessons he had learned from his time with Habitat and the profits from their own hotel business the Jaspers decided to start a ministry where there was a real need and a scarcity of organizations already at work which is how they landed in Nicaragua. No longer in business, he devotes his full-time effort to the operation and development of the ministry.
The Rainbow Network is an interdenominational Christian Ministry working in rural Nicaragua with about 42,000 people who live in 112 specific geographic communities. Their model involves significant community participation and is led in-country entirely by Nicaraguans. Their housing program has provided a pathway to homeownership for over 1000 families to date who otherwise were living in mud huts or scrap houses. Their microfinance program has provided over 75,000 microloans with a repayment rate of over 98% helping families break the cycle of poverty. Click here to learn more about The Rainbow Network
Christine Baingana – Business Development Director | Hope International | Kigali, Rwanda
Helping families flourish by investing in their dreams through discipleship, training, savings, and small loans.
Christine serves as the Business Development Director for HOPE International (HOPE). She graduated with a master’s in public administration (MPA) from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2010. Her professional background includes over 20 years of experience providing financial services in the private sector as well as corporate management. For the past six years she has focused her time and talents in micro-economic development. She is passionate about serving families living in poverty and seeing the church equipped to holistically serve its members.
Charity rarely provides long-term solutions for families living in poverty but often creates dependency and hopelessness. In contrast HOPE International invests in the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities as they proclaim and live the Gospel. They come alongside men and women, providing discipleship, biblically based training, a safe place to save, and small loans that empower them to provide for their families and give back to their communities. The HOPE International network consists of microfinance institutions and savings and credit associations working throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Click here to learn more about Hope International
Lindsey Strickler – Co-Owner | Defenestrate & John McGovern – Founder | Sernomics
Church, Act Like the Church! is the heart cry of millennials looking for a church willing to invest in lasting solutions to help the poor.
John’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2010 utilizing skills in engineering, design and technology. In that short time he’s had the opportunity to work across a wide variety of industries including industrial construction, fund management, political consulting, data analytics and retail sales. He was also part of the group that developed the “1 Million Cups” program for the Kauffman Foundation, a national program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs functioning in 77 communities across 35 States. His business journey is a bit uncommon but not at all unique to a rising number of entrepreneurial millennials who believe that in every problem lies a solution if we choose to find it.
Lindsey spent her college career deeply involved in a college campus ministry and faced a serious decision upon graduation…“Go into full-time ministry or pursue business?” Coming to the conclusion that the two need not be mutually exclusive and that she could have a greater impact as a business person she chose to pursue an MBA and start a business. Today she is co-owner of a Denver-based marketing firm that specializes in small and early stage business, and a co-working space catering to men and women who are formidable at what they do. She believes smart, creative businesses will change the world and they need partners willing to work as hard and innovatively as they do.
Tom Bassford – Founder & President | Significant Matters & SATtalks | Olathe, KS
Equipping churches to move their mission’s work beyond “helping that hurts” to sustainable transformation.
Tom is the founder and President of Significant Matters, a nonprofit organization working with churches, faith-based groups, community stakeholders and philanthropic organizations to tackle complex societal issues in sustainable ways. Before founding Significant Matters, he pastored for over 30 years and has been involved in the work of church missions both locally and internationally for over 40 years.
In 2014, under his leadership, Significant Matters lunched SATtalks, a TED talk type of gathering and video website to explore and demonstrate ways to create sustainable transformation through church missions. They also launched the Missions 3.0 Network for churches wanting to move their mission work beyond “helping that hurts.” SATtalks and Missions 3.0 exists to accelerate the learning curve for the church around sustainable approaches to missions and connect those early pioneers trying to make it happen. Click here to learn more about Significant Matters