Cuba (MNN) — It’s difficult to “get ahead” in Cuba. As explained here, economic growth is largely controlled by the government. Excepting recent years, there have been very few positive changes to the system.
Thanks to FARMS International, struggling Cuban Christians are getting a ‘hand up’ instead of a handout. FARMS’ new executive director, Scott Clifton, saw the impact of this empowerment first-hand during a recent visit.
“It’s very encouraging to see how the Gospel is touching people in a very living and active way as it spreads throughout the island of Cuba.”
Government reforms legalized small business eight years ago. However, most believers don’t have the funds they need to start their own business. So, in partnership with local churches, FARMS offers small entrepreneurial loans.
During his visit, Clifton met business owners who were helped by a FARMS loan. Some business owners raise hogs, and a year ago, disease wiped out much of their stock.
“In a short time, they’re already getting back on their feet and they’re able to make positive momentum forward again,” he says.
“I don’t think that to ‘spring back’ that quickly would’ve been possible without the partnership with FARMS.”
How is this helping the Church?
As the believers’ businesses succeed, “they give back to their churches, which enables their churches to expand in ministry as they desire to do,” Clifton explains.
One FARMS board member, who traveled with Clifton, was surprised by the amount of church multiplication he saw.
“There [are] many churches that have a capacity of 30 or 40 people,” Clifton says. “When they hit that, then they have to start another church.”
Tomorrow, Clifton will unveil details about a new FARMS development currently underway.
“We had the opportunity to train a new committee in a different area of Cuba,” he hints, “which was really exciting to have representation spread across the island.”
Header image is public domain via CIA World Factbook.