LIVEBIRDS! for that "Live" taste

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Latest on LiveBirds

What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. –1 Corinthians 15:36

Its Easter weekend  around the world and we are reminded of the truth that life is born out of death.  It’s a living metaphor all around us.  A seedling lies dormant in the ground in order to grow into a plant.  A caterpillar undergoes a period of dark, yet fertile growth to emerge as a butterfly.  And sometimes are hearts have to let go of long entrenched ideas we hold tightly to in order for a greater, more beautiful story to arise and unfold. 

LiveBirds has struggled since their infancy to turn a profit on growing and selling chickens.  While their perseverance and dedication to the business is inspiring, even in the throes of typical new business obstacles, the hope of profit margins never actualized. 

Instead, a new strategy has been born out of the old.  LiveBirds started their first quarter of 2013 with a new, evolving business model. The Zimbabwe team is reducing the risk of chicken farming that requires major investments in inventory, disease vulnerability, and long eight week growing cycles of chicks by transforming their farming business into a ‘peeps,’ or ‘day-old chicks’ distribution business allowing access to impoverished rural areas to grow their own chickens for sustenance and dignity. We never cease to be amazed at the tenacity and artistry of our God in unfolding His story. 
LiveBirds changed their strategy by focusing their target market on rural areas that traditionally have little access to buying peeps by selling to these communities 'day old chicks' rather than mature butchered chickens. The rural areas do not have access to birds they can raise on their own unless they travel to bigger cities like Mutare, LiveBirds headquarters, which for some lies some four hundred miles away. LiveBirds is meeting this demand by supplying day old chicks to consumers and farmers. They strategically use the taxi once per week to travel to the rural communities, take orders, and offer cash advances to loyal customers. The following week the team returns with the orders of peeps and receive the remaining balance owed for a profit. Currently, they are up to 500 birds sold per week!  While we remain excited about the possibilities, this venture will remain in trial mode as we chart the viability of the business long term. Please pray for this new venture, and that we will remain open, while willingly listening to God’s plans.

Simultaneously, the LiveBirds Taxi Service continues to turn a steady profit!! As a result, the team is now preparing to purchase a second taxi with the profit from the first within three to six months of time.  Please continue to pray for this venture as well, for continued profit margins, to allow for an expanded Taxi Service and a crucial new employment opportunity for a fellow Zimbabwean. 
Finally, back at home in Charlotte the team is also in a period of new life. We are excitedly looking to expand our reach to other countries, while replicating the basic tenets of our business model. Recently our team met with local business leaders, a local University Professor and International Economics Students that have interest in supporting this endeavor. We also met with the Director of Hope for AIDS, Marcus Baeder, and pitched the idea to expand into 12 other countries where they have a presence. There is great enthusiasm on all sides as we are in the process of exploring the next LiveBirds venture. We ask for your prayers as we seek to follow God’s lead in this expansion as well. 

May you be blessed this Easter weekend with new life, and know that Jesus is alive in our increasingly connected world bringing about unfathomable ways we can come to know Him and His dearly beloved people across the globe, while growing our own hearts in the process.

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