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Stories of transformation >> Ion Valeriu Costiuc - 2011 Thurman Award Honorable Mention
Ion Valeriu Costiuc - 2011 Thurman Award Honorable Mention (11.07.2011)

Ion Valeriu Costiuc

2011 Thurman Award Honorable Mention for Eastern Europe

Location: Cimiseni, Criuleni, Moldova

Family: Married with two children and expecting their third child

Occupation: Pastor of Church, Businessman

Type of Business: Construction Materials and Home Utensil Shop

Loans from CAMED/Invest-Credit: One

Loan Amount(s): $2327

Impact of Loan:

When Ion Costiuc took out a CAMED/Invest-Credit loan last year, he had a goal in mind. The loan, along with the proceeds from the sale of one of his two minibuses, enabled Ion to start his own business. Ion, however, did not start his business of selling construction materials and home utensils with the goal of personal gain. This business was to provide for not only his own family, but also for the seven neighbors that he supports and the church he is leading in his village. His business also offers special prices and purchasing options to the poor of the community enabling them to provide for their needs with dignity.

The sale of construction materials and home utensils is the basis of Ion’s business. His concern for the poorest in his community led him to establish business policies that may not yield the highest profit financially, but that Ion believes will lead to spiritual profit. For the poor in his community, Ion offers reduced prices on materials. He also allows customers to purchase goods on credit.

Ion acknowledges the difficulties in starting a business, “The start is hard. We need patience in order to have [a] stable client base and stable income.” His vision and heart for his community are evident as he explains with a clear sense of conviction that his business is also developing an image for his community to see.

With his business, Ion is able to provide for his growing family. He has two daughters, ages six and seven, and a new baby on the way. In addition to his own family, Ion also provides financial support to five other children in his village, ages ranging from three to eighteen, and a middle-aged couple, also from his village.

Future Ambitions:

Ion’s future plan is to open a small market for selling food. For this business, Ion will need $20,000. With the combined income of his current business and the food market, Ion would like to build a youth center for his village. He is greatly concerned that the youth of his village are engaged in many negative activities. His vision for the youth center is to provide these youth a positive alternative, a place where they can learn about Christ and become engaged in the spiritual transformation of their village.

Spiritual Impact:

Ion believes his primary occupation is to be a missionary to his village. His business is a practical way to reach out to those less fortunate than himself and to share the love and compassion of God. Ion leads a small church in his home. Currently there are six villagers who attend, but Ion hopes to see this ministry grow and reach many more villagers.

As Ion talks about his business, his burden for his village and his love for Christ are undeniable. He is a testament to the impact that a simple worker can have when he entrusts all his possessions and all his endeavors into the hands of God.