Nothing is Impossible with God
In the Philippines, a common retail venue is the “rolling store.” Unlike a market stall or brick-and-mortar shop, these stores built on motorcycles or hand-drawn carts can travel to their clientele. Eddie Uyboblante, a rolling store owner, was invited by another rolling store owner to join a cooperative offered by Center for Community Transformation (CCT), HOPE’s partner in the Philippines. Eddie heard that the group was studying the Bible, and he wanted to learn more about God. He even brought his wife to the group’s meetings, even though she was not a member.
Before joining the co-op, Eddie used to borrow money from whoever would lend to him as he tried to keep his rolling kitchenware business afloat. He found stability in the variety of loan products offered by CCT and has been able to take and pay back eleven loans of increasing value over the years. Eddie’s business has expanded from one rolling store to seven other rolling clothes stores, as well as a large general merchandise store in the marketplace.
He says, “When I was just starting, the techniques I learned help[ed] me be more mindful about how I run my business. I transferred the store to a place where there are more people and diversified the products I am selling.”
Eddie put what he learned from his group to good use during the pandemic and started offering a variety of products in his rolling stores. Since people could not go outside, the rolling stores were able to provide what they needed regularly. And when unemployment became a problem during the pandemic, he encouraged his family members to start their own businesses and shared with them what he learned from his mentors and his own experiences. Now, they also have their own rolling stores, selling different merchandise.
With the success of his business, Eddie has been able to provide for his biological and adopted children and employ several family members. More than that, Eddie and his family have grown spiritually. He says, “being part of CCT helped me and my family mold and deepen our relationship with God.” His family reads and studies the Bible together, and his siblings travel from their distant town to study with them every Friday night. The changes in Eddie’s life have not gone unnoticed in his community.
Eddie used to spend a lot of time drinking with his friends, but now he makes time with his children a priority. He says that as he studied God’s Word, he realized he needed to leave certain things behind to be a witness to his neighbors. He started a fellowship group in his community to encourage friends and neighbors to read the Bible. Eddie says, “I wanted to glorify God and show how CCT has helped me change, so that I can also encourage them to be part of the Bible study even if they do not become a member of the cooperative.” By God’s grace, there are already 48 members in his fellowship group.
“I only need to trust the Lord. I know nothing is impossible with God. If you sincerely have faith in Him, there is nothing that He will not give to you.”