A ministry steps in to rescue Haiti’s refugees outside the quake zone

By February 5, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — Haiti’s government is still struggling for control over aid amid confusion in Port-au-Prince.

Jeff Boshart with FARMS International says many have given up. “350,000 people have left the Port-au-Prince area and have moved out into
the countryside.”

It’s not much better elsewhere. “The families that will be receiving them were probably counting on their relatives in the earthquake zones to send them money for support through the tough times; now they have those people back home with them, and they’re being asked to support the people who were the breadwinners.”

FARMS has 10 years and two volunteer loan committees in Haiti. They’re helping the Evangelical Church of Haiti, an association of 55 churches in northern Haiti, now fully indigenous.

The funds that FARMS provides enable the church to develop an interest-free loan program for very needy families within the church. The idea is to use the funds to develop a small business. Profits from the business go not only to support the family, but also to support the church through tithing.

One of the benefits of tithing is that the pastor has time to evangelize the community and disciple his congregation. So another benefit of stewardship is that when Christians give, and give sacrificially, God brings revival.

The programs started by FARMS a decade ago have been running so smoothly, they eventually took on their own life.   Communications with the committees dropped off.  When Boshart re-connected during his most recent visit, he told them FARMS was prepared to help the churches with the influx by giving the programs another cash infusion.

Those projects are now gearing up to respond long-term to these refugees. “One of the ways that FARMS can help is by making money available to the local churches to help stimulate business through their own membership.”

As the teams lay the economic groundwork, they are also laying the foundation for evangelistic ministry. “One of the hopes is that through tithing, the ministries of the local church will be strengthened.” Be watching and praying to see how God uses these projects for His glory. You can help. Click here

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