Cuba (MNN) — “A rising tide lifts all boats.” As discussed in this forum, the phrase possibly originated in New England and was used in a 1963 speech by U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Whatever its origins, the basic economic concept applies to modern-day Cuban Christians.
“[Loan] committees are separated by nine hours or so of travel,” he explains.
“It’s expensive to make that journey, and it’s hard to stay in touch with everyone [when] loans [are] spread out throughout the whole island. It really helps to have a local presence that’s able to help those people receiving loans.”
The process is just beginning, he adds, so please pray for FARMS and its local church partners. Pray “that it would all be honoring to the Lord, and that He would strengthen it and cause it to prosper for the good of His Church in that region.”
Cuban Christians + small business = church growth
As described here, FARMS works alongside local churches in Cuba to distribute small loans. Cuban Christians use these loans to start small businesses such as hog farms, electronic manufacturing shops, carpentry shops, and more.
“We’re giving loans to believers based on Galatians, where it says to ‘do good to everyone, but especially those of the household of faith,’” Clifton says.
“As these people of faith are increasing their income…. They give back to their churches, which enables their churches to expand in ministry.”
One church started a fellowship meal to build stronger relationships. “There’s great community in this, and it’s been very beneficial to the church,” Clifton states.
That ministry is now expanding, thanks to extra contributions from a church member who owns a bicycle taxi. The bicycle taxi business grew from a small investment known as a FARMS loan. Along with helping his church, the small business owner wants to keep the momentum going.
“They would like to expand by purchasing a larger vehicle. They’d like to do the necessary repairs and have a second bicycle in operation.”
What can I do to help?
Please pray for this small business owner and the many others who have received FARMS loans. Pray that “their projects would be successful and that God’s hand of blessing would be on them again so that they can be generous and, in turn, bless others,” Clifton requests.
Header and story images courtesy of FARMS International.