In 1993, Leah Reyes (pictured above) and her husband took a risk by starting a small grocery business in Coron, Philippines using the money her husband earned driving a tricycle. They saved their money, purchased more tricycles, and began employing neighbors. Eventually, they learned about the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE’s partner in the Philippines, and have since taken and repaid more than 7 loans of increasing size since 2006.
“From a single tricycle, now we have trucks, buses, and our own cargo ship. … From a simple thrift store, it’s now a big grocery!”
Leah now manages the grocery store, a transportation business, shipping and cargo logistics, and is a dealer of liquified petroleum gas. She has also expanded into real estate. She is currently constructing a hotel and while it is not yet ready for guests, the first floor of the 4-story building is used for warehouse storage while 5 other rooms are completed and rented out as apartment units. They have purchased condos and 4 apartment units in the capital city of Manila where they receive monthly rent from their occupants.
“Because of the many businesses we put up in our area, we help families put their children in school. Some did not need to work far from their families.”
The couple points to the CCT’s support, discipleship, and SME (small-and-medium-enterprise) loans as being pivotal to their success. When a rice shortage hit the community, Leah accessed a timely loan from CCT to import the staple food. While other businesses were forced to charge more, she had the margin to continue selling at a reasonable price. When her husband experienced a stroke causing uncertainty in their lives, their family worked together and continued to run the businesses despite his sickness. CCT staff and pastors also supported them by praying for the family and visiting them regularly.
“His recovery has been rapid. We can endure life’s trials because we have God.”
Today, all of Leah’s children have finished school and are working professionals. The eldest became a doctor, the second an accountant, and the youngest became a medical technician. Recognizing her help comes from the Lord (Psalm 121) Leah gathers in the grocery store with her family and 34 employees for prayer and fellowship every week.
“Success does not come from one’s own strength but from God.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17
Please join us in praying for and celebrating God’s sovereign work in the life of Leah and the more than a million other men and women HOPE has the privilege of serving around the world.
Executive Director of Development Homes for HOPE