Haiti (MNN) — Most people probably know someone with an entitlement attitude–a person who holds an “it’s-my-right-to-have-this” or “it’s-your-job-to-solve-my-problems” perspective on all aspects of life. Entitlement attitudes are prevalent in many areas of Haiti due, in large part, to continual hand-outs from charities.
“When you mention things like repaying loans and giving a tithe of their profit back into the community…these actions teach them that they can be a blessing to others, that they need to look out for others,” shares Joseph Richter of FARMS International.
“This is what always excited me about FARMS: the stewardship principles that are the base of the ministry.”
Churches in Cap Haitian and Boco are working with FARMS to introduce a different way of thinking.
“We’ve seen over and over again the pride people have and the dignity, when they become a blessing to others and not just a receiver of someone’s charity,” says Richter.
FARMS International equips families in poverty around the world with the means for self-support. Working through the local church, FARMS provides loans, technical support for income-generating projects, and spiritual training for families. Loans are repaid to a revolving fund, and recipients agree to tithe to their local church.
“One thing that I’ve noticed in all of our programs around the world, but now [particularly] in Haiti, is the help they give to ladies that are widows and have children,” Richter shares. Church committees “search out widows that are really in need and that need the special help from FARMS.”
A Cap Haitian widow named Madame Sol recently shared her story with Richter.
“Her husband had passed away some time ago, and she had to totally support her daughter and two boys,” he recounts.
With a FARMS microloan, Madame Sol was able to start her own business making fruit preserves and peanut butter. Along with selling her products in the local area, she ships them as far as Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital city.
“She worked very hard at this business, even though she was a part-time teacher,” shares Richter. “All of her three children have now gone to college, which is no small feat for a widow in Haiti.
“She said her committee had taught her about tithing, and she regularly supported her church. She felt that that’s why God had blessed her so much.”
Widows aren’t the only ones benefiting from FARMS’ help. Listen to the interview to hear how microloans have resulted in exponential church growth.
“They keep expanding; they even have a Christian school that’s run through the church,” says Richter. “The people are very excited and happy for the FARMS program and what it’s done for their church, and their families.”
There are a few ways you can get involved in business-as-missions through FARMS.
“Certainly, any ministry like this needs people to pray for it,” Richter observes.
Pray that FARMS committees will be faithful and that the people receiving loans will be blessed. Pray that increased giving in the local churches will result in more evangelistic outreaches.
You can also help FARMS with financial support here.