Mission Lazarus is a social enterprise and ministry working to ignite generational change in the developing world by advancing its raw potential to enrich lives now and forever. They tackle the tricky problem of brokenness by creating opportunities which help people get to a better place in their lives.
Beginning in 2004, Jarrod and Allison Brown formed Mission Lazarus in response to their experience as missionaries in Honduras. Their belief system that people are God’s most valuable resource fueled their desire to wake up and empower the potential that often lay dormant in the communities around them. Each day, they saw people without healthcare or education, families with no direction, communities without a church and stagnation in the local economy. The common thread in these challenges was hopelessness; and they knew that combatting a community’s loss of hope required a strategic, holistic approach to development that served in these four areas: the individual, the family, the community and the local economy.
Present day Mission Lazarus advances God’s Kingdom in rural areas of Honduras and Haiti through programs and initiatives that address holistic service in those four areas. Their end goal is to help each person develop his own potential and effect change in his life, family and community. Above all, they hold dear their unwavering commitment to deliver holistic, Christcentric services so they can declare their belief that there is worth in being made in the image of God. And each program they initiate — like medical clinics, education, job creation and job training — continually evolves to best serve the individuals and communities participating, in order to best stimulate the local economy and grow in impact.
Transformation is a process, not something that happens in a moment. It occurs privately and commercially – in hearts, homes, schools, churches, clinics, and businesses.
Social Enterprise is one of the key strategies Mission Lazarus uses to create impact. In much of the developing world, especially in rural areas, secure employment is scarce and unskilled labor pays too little to sustain a family. One way they address this issue is through training and employment. Their Fair-Trade Coffee Farm, located in a mountainous job desert, offers steady and seasonal employment to individuals who would otherwise struggle to find work. They are proud to pay their workers 25% above established fair wage, with all profits benefitting The Refuge, where they provide homes for vulnerable children.
Mission Lazarus’s vocational schools also aid in giving others an economically empowering life. These schools train young men and women in trades like sewing, carpentry, leatherworking and metalsmithing. The products they learn to make at school are sold in the Mission Lazarus social enterprise store, helping fund the student’s’ program costs and other ministry initiatives, and introducing local artisans into the economy helps create more demand for their products. The net effect impacts the community because the artisans now have a reliable income that allows them and their families to benefit from local services, such as medical care, education and church membership. In addition to vocational training, over the three year program students receive an academic education, increasing their likelihood of obtaining employment post-graduation.
Due to the heightened demand of their goods, we can offer more jobs to our graduate artisans, providing job stability in a community that bolsters personal and spiritual growth.
Mission Lazarus joined Social Enterprise Alliance two years ago to develop their toolbox and surround themselves with other service-minded enterprises in the industry. They are continually impressed by the good works and creative approaches of fellow alliance members, stating: “[Social Enterprise Alliance] has opened many doors through its connections, including co-branded goods with other social enterprise companies and nonprofits. By way of events and collaborative spaces, we’ve grown our reach and established relationships that deepen our impact in the developing world, maximizing our potential to ignite generational change.”
To learn more about Lazarus Artisan Goods, check out their member directory profile.