"There is no limit to what can be done for Christ's sake if it doesn't matter who gets the credit"

Historical Perspectives

Dr. Frank E. Gainer and his wife, Alice, have traveled extensively and have visited every continent except Antarctica, with much of that travel involving mission service in developing countries. After observing the economic plight of men in the developing world and the financial status of many mission stations, he posed this question to himself: "What can I do to help these people to sustain ministries long term, without absolute dependency on donations from Christians in the more developed countries?" The thought of economic development readily came to mind. Economic development in developing countries is not new but it is difficult to measure the impact it has had on empowering and sustaining Christian ministries.

The economic empowerment concept, Macro-Micro Enterprise Development (MMED), materialized in Dr. Gainer’s mind in June, 2000, during a trip to Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, West Africa. During dialogue with the ministry head, Dr. Stanley Okoro, and a group of supporters of Christian Heritage Ministries (CHM) located in Akure, two unmet needs were made known.

Firstly, the group was not pleased with the level of internet service available to them in their community but did not know how best to overcome it. Secondly, the CHM supporters desired to give more to CHM than they were already giving but did not have the finances to do so.

Dr. Gainer challenged the group to "think outside of the box" for ideas on new means of support to Christian Heritage Ministries. He pondered the matter himself and concluded that both needs could possibly be met through one major action step. He shared his thoughts with the group and everyone liked the idea. The major action step would be for the entire group, including Dr. Okoro, to unite and start a legitimate for profit business, namely an internet service center. Formation of the internet service center which would be owned and operated by its founders would take care of the first expressed need for improved internet service in the community. The business would then build into its incorporation documents provisions for both Christian Heritage Ministries and the business partners to receive a portion of the profit at the time of distribution. This would take care of the second need expressed by the group.

Thus, the Macro-Micro Enterprise Development (MMED) concept was birthed and the first business venture using the concept, Secure Heritage Limited, was soon in the planning phase for the benefit of Christian Heritage Ministries and a group of its supporters. It is from this humble, yet significant beginning that MMED has evolved to the level it is today. However, the idea of groups starting business ventures for the benefit of ministry and themselves lives on. Invariably the MMED concept has encouraged pastors, lay leaders and other ministry heads as they learn that perhaps there is a way to sustain ministries long term in their country with less dependency on outsiders.