Business development is helping Christians access the inaccessible

By December 15, 2005

International (MNN) — Christians are facing increasing amounts of persecution around the world. Open Doors’ World Watch list ranks North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Laos, Vietnam and Iran as the nations with the worst records for religious freedom. But that isn’t stopping Farms International from helping in many creative access nations.

Joseph Richter is the President of Farms International. He says, “Farms International is devoted to helping Christian families out of poverty, and we do that through entrepreneurial loans. These loans are administered by nationals with the expressed purpose of bringing these families out of poverty, and at the same time teaching them good stewardship and the practice of tithing back to the local church so that the church can become self-supported.”

According to Richter, “We work in at least five countries that you could consider very limited access. And, our purpose there is to strengthen the local church to do evangelism and also evangelism out from those countries.”

As these churches are strengthened and become self-supported, it has another affect. “We have found that pastors and missionaries that are locally supported are very effective witnesses. It seems at times when support comes from the outside there is a suspicion.”

Not only is the program helping the church be more effective, the program helps Christians. “Because these people share what they’ve learned and help others in business and farming practices, we see these Christians become shining examples of Christ’s love and also become very effective witnesses,” says Richter.

$10,000 is all it takes to start a program in a country. “We’re always looking for partners, especially church partners, that really want to have a program that they can adopt as their own and watch what God does in that situation.”

Farms International is currently working in 12 nations. Pray that many people would get involved in this program.

Leave a Reply