Ghana (MNN) — A Christian credit union in Ghana is taking things up a notch.
Global Advance planted a seed of marketplace missions in Kumasi, Ghana in 2006. Two years later, Ghanaians took the idea of a business group savings and loan program and began their own credit union.
Now, the House of Faith Credit Union (HOFCU) wants to grow from their current 600 members to over 1,000. Kevin Pate, Global Advance’s Director of Marketplace Missions, brought a team of U.S. bankers to Kumasi to help local businesspeople achieve their dream.
“We were able, in our small way in this one little corner of the world, to impact a group of people that are literally trying to impact thousands of members in their credit union,” says Pate.
For a week, Pate’s team asked HOFCU workers a series of questions about bookkeeping, interest rates, loan processes, and more.
“At the end of the week, we were able to compile all of those things [and] go department by department, or issue by issue, and make recommendations,” says Pate.
After the training was finished, “I just saw kind of this dignity aspect that came out of that week,” he says. “Just like, hey, you know we can do this; we’re going to the next level.”
Not only did the team show Ghanaians how to grow their business, they showed them how banking can open doors for the Gospel.
“We start with the Great Commission, and then we go out and do business,” Pate explains.
In Ghana, Pate adds, it’s extremely difficult for small business owners to borrow money. Even if the loan is short-term, say one or two months, banks will charge 100-percent interest on the loan. This leaves borrowers, often farmers or small-scale production businesses, deeper in debt than before.
By offering two types of loans and conducting business with integrity, rather than taking advantage of the weak, HOFCU offers a hand of help to the needy.
“There’s a huge need for Christian businesses, and businesses of all kinds, in these developing nations,” says Pate.
“Over time, it will open the door for you to share your faith.”
Are you skilled in the world of business?
“Business is a great vehicle…to live out your faith. It’s a great vehicle internationally to put your faith into practice,” says Pate.
“We always need Christian businesspeople that would like to go to another nation and share what they know with their peers.”
Pray for a multiplication effect as businesspeople share their faith with customers.