Hello, Partners and Friends,
I’d like you to meet one of our missionary couples, David and Aiza Covic. They became Operations Managers of our ThreadWorks project (FTW) in April of 2018. David recently shared some of what he’s experienced in the first year:
"I had recently stepped down as the youth pastor of Frontline City Church. For some time my wife and I had been discussing small business ideas, and eventually felt God leading us to be involved in the social enterprise work of Frontline. After several meetings and discussions with the leadership, my wife and I were offered the role of Operations Manager of FTW.
"Initially we had to deal with numerous problems related to previous managers not working out well. So, besides needing to dig in and learn about the garment industry (which we had no former experience in) our initial time was focused on rebuilding a good team, developing trust, and raising morale. We invested long hours in conversations, meetings, listening, and praying. While the workers were proud to be part of Frontline in general, some of the former problems had resulted in low morale and low production.
"We also set to work on improving the systems and processes at the micro-factory, which then consisted of only 15 people. We changed the compensation schemes, giving more responsibility and incentives to the employees. We also renegotiated the pricing schemes with current clients and searched for others that would pay better. We worked at listening to the employees, and helped them feel happy and fulfilled with the mission we were on. We re-established the schedule for weekly devotions, inviting our pastors and other leaders to speak and share. We even started playing music in the work areas!"
Under the Covics’ leadership, FTW has grown a lot in the past year; from 15 to 44 workers—many of whom have become active attendees of our local churches. Some of the sewers have children who are now sponsored into our school. By the end of their first month alone, production had increased by nearly 100%. Our client base has grown immensely. FTW has gone from only piecing together ready-cut materials, to now handling the entire assembly process–from material pickup, to cutting, assembly, quality control, packing and delivery to the client. And whereas the project had been operating at a loss for some years, we have since started enjoying God’s blessing and earning profits.
David went on to say:
"We’re excited at how things are now going, but there remain many challenges. One of our most skilled workers recently had to resign. Professionalism in the workplace is another thing that needs to be improved drastically. But these struggles flow from our vision, which is to establish micro-factories where they are most needed: in marginalized, impoverished communities. And we dream to tie these efforts into our church-planting efforts. In this way we can make a way to provide income for needy families in the community while also sharing Christ and planting a church. We dream to bring work to the people, where they need it most.
"As a family, we also have challenges of our own. Spouses managing together can present plenty of interesting challenges, especially when you add to the mix a pregnancy (our second child coming soon!). Our daughter puts it this way: “Daddy, you’re the boss in the factory; but when we’re home Mommy’s the boss!”
"We feel tremendously blessed to be part of Frontline and the social enterprise work. We are daily ministering to people in a wide variety of ways (economic, physical, and spiritual). We’ve grown a lot personally over the past year from this experience.
"FTW badly needs a delivery truck, but we are prioritizing an expansion of the work areas, set to begin within the next few weeks. We hope to reproduce one micro-factory in 2020, with the current location becoming the main FTW operational hub."
We continue to work while it’s day, reaching and helping people find their back to God.
In business for good,,
Director of Social Enterprise
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