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Businesses to get help after tsunami in Sri Lanka

By January 5, 2005

Sri Lanka (MNN) — While the immediate needs of the victims of the tsunami are great, planning is already underway for long term assistance. One area is business revitalization. That’s what HOPE International will be focusing on in the months ahead.

HOPE’s Executive Director Peter Greer says, “We’re going to be working with those who had businesses before and had them completely destroyed during the tsunami. So,
we’re going to be giving loans and some financial
assistance to those who have lost everything.”

Many people may not believe providing a loan is a compassionate way to help these people. But, Greer says it’s a healthy way of helping. He says because of the large number of businesses affected, there isn’t enough funding to help all of those affected. “We believe it’s a far more efficient use of resources if we can help those who have small businesses to get back into operation and then to repay the loans so that other families can benefit. So, it’s a way of reaching far more people than we could with just short term relief,” says Greer.

Loans typically start at about $300. But, Greer says business revitalization isn’t the only reason for being there. He says, “In a place like Sri Lanka that has been persecuting Christians, this is a tremendous open door for us to reach out, not just with small business assistance, but also with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The biggest need right now is funding. That needs to be raise now because within a few weeks the tsunami could be off the media’s radar screen. “And, as soon as it’s off the t-v screens the giving ends. So, you often will have an outpouring of support during the initial stage, but not a whole lot to meet the longer term challenges of rebuilding livelihoods.”

Your generous gift will enable them to help even more people, once the rebuilding starts. You can give at their web site, http://www.HopeInternational.org or send your checks to:

Hope International
PO Box 10001
Lancaster, PA 17605
(717) 464-3220

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