Small loans are paying off for Christian families partnering with FARMS International. And their success means more programs.
What does a new FARMS program mean?
FARMS International strengthens local churches by offering interest-free loans to impoverished believers and their families. These loans help people establish a livelihood that can be self-supported, whether through agriculture or through small business. FARMS also encourages families to support local churches and give back to hurting communities.
Scott Clifton, Executive Director of FARMS International, explains that they follow a model that has some similarities to a multiplication model of church planting.
“When we say a new program, that means there is a separate committee that there wasn’t before. [It is made up] of local volunteers that oversee the operations of the program. That means there are three new committees in these three new locations. Sometimes it’s a completely new committee and sometimes it’s born out of an existing program and they are multiplying to form two committees where there was only one previously.”
This model is working. In the Philippines, believers decided to put a second committee in place.
“There is knowledge that has been passed from the one committee to the new committee. There is a committee member that served on that former committee. That’s a very cool story of multiplication. They see the value in having a program like FARMS there and they want to see it increase.”
Traditionally, FARMS projects in the Philippines centered around agriculture. However, FARMS sees a growing need in urban environments, so they are moving into Manila. The team hopes to offer loans for small businesses.
For example, one pioneer entrepreneur is a pastor who operates a t-shirt business. He designs, prints, and sells his shirts. His loan will help that business grow and eventually his profits will help support his business and others.
As the team grows and more people give back, they can support new small business owners.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert