Economic stimulus overseas helps the church and the family

By December 13, 2006

International (MNN) — Farms International is working in 12 countries, providing small loans to help Christian families start businesses. The goal is to be self sustaining and also to support the local church by tithing the profits of their new business to support ministry.

As we continue our series on Farms International today, it’s president Joe Richter tells us the program is having an impact on the family. “In many countries of the world, family breakdown is a serious problem,” says Richter. “Usually it’s caused by lack of finances for the family. For example, in Northern Thailand, many families will sell their children into prostitution and the slave labor market because they can’t afford to feed their children.”

Richter says lack of income forces fathers to leave the family for the big city, “to try to make money, and then the family is in jeopardy. And, many times the husband will run off or do something else and the family really isn’t helped that much.”

Richter says this lack of income is also responsible for many of the children found in orphanages. “A lot of what we call orphans are just there because a family can’t afford to provide for that kid and they think that’s the best way to really help that child. But, families grieve over that.”

According to Richter, some Christian families have entertained these ideas, thinking it may give their children a chance. He says loans of $300 to $600 can change families forever. “Our goal is to strengthen the families in local villages and towns so that more of this type of tracking doesn’t have to take place.”

That’s why your financial help is needed. Churches or individuals can support and preserve families, who then support the local church. “Through the tithing we’re able to see outreach evangelism funded, church building funded, pastoral support, as well as missions. We’ve coined the phrase ‘doing good that’s good’.”

Click here if you’d like to contribute to their loan program.

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