Compassion in a Tea Cup

03 Sep

Pi Besy sips coffee in her tea shop as she talks to one of her customers (while a curious young girl watches)

Compassion in a Tea Cup

How one entrepreneurial woman uses her business to help orphans

Dear Friends,

Summer here at home for us is winding down; children are returning to school. And as we’ve continued to work with our many micro borrowers around the world these summer months, we’re reminded to thank those of you who’ve given so generously to change the lives of the poor—both economically and spiritually.

One of them is Pi Besy, an older woman who lives in Hakha, the small capital city of Chin State, Myanmar, located in one of the most remote regions of the world. She noticed that, as economic activity has begun to trickle into her corner of the world—following decades of despotic oppression—all kinds of construction workers are now passing through her city. Wanting to capitalize on this opportunity, Pi Besy requested a $500 loan from the Micro-Loan Ministry to open a tea shop along a busy, often dusty street on the west side of town.

The Micro-Loan Ministry has been working hand in hand with Heaven’s Family’s Orphan’s Tear Ministry in Myanmar to help rescue children from institutional care (orphanages) by returning them to family members or placing them into Christian foster care families. Micro-loans help families earn enough money to support these children and send them to school. (The absence of sufficient income is the reason most children end up in orphanages in the first place.)

When we learned that Pi Besy wanted to care for Nay May, a teenage girl from Zion Children’s Home—an orphanage located hundreds of mile away in Yangon, that nation’s largest city—in her own home, we agreed to loan her the money she needed to open her tea shop. (Pi Besy is a relative of that orphanage’s director, a man who understands the Orphan’s Tear Ministry’s vision and is committed helping in this restoration process.)

When fellow staff members Bruce Harris and Jeff Trotter visited her shop one morning on our behalf during their trip to Myanmar last December, they reported that business was brisk. The two also sampled Pi Besy’s green tea and some simple homemade pastries she insisted they try—a welcome treat, they said, during the 40-something-degree mornings in that mountainous location at that time of year!

At left, Nay May takes dishwashing duty at the tea shop; at right, the tea shop draws young and old customers alike!

Pi Besy’s business acumen doesn’t stop there, however: she’s an accountant for her church, raises pigs, and is seeking ways to expand her business. She has also taken several rural students into her home so that they can attend schools of higher quality compared to meager educational offerings in small villages.

Thanks for making Pi Besy’s thriving business a reality, and even more importantly, for helping to provide a loving home for an orphan named Nay May.

God’s richest blessings,

Dan and Terry Steward
Directors, Micro-Loan Ministry

Pi Besy with her foster daughter, Nay May (at left), and one of the rural students she boards in front of her tea shop

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