International (MNN) — During the COVID-19 pandemic, several ministries and organizations are jumping on the temporary relief bandwagon. Temporary relief is sorely needed at this time with the economy at an all-time low and unemployment at an all-time high. However, not all ministries are well-equipped to meet immediate relief needs.
For example, FARMS International excels in long-term development. Through interest-free loans, they help impoverished Christians work their way out of poverty and learn how to biblically steward their finances.
FARMS’ Scott Clifton says staying the course of development will allow their ministry to be most effective in the long-run.
“For one, we don’t have all the know-how, so to speak — and there is know-how to providing relief. But also, we have the ability to see now fruit from seeds planted in years past…. There are people who have been part of FARMS programs around the world that they would be in the position to need relief right now if it wasn’t for a FARMS loan,” Clifton says.
“But because they’ve had that opportunity and they became self-sustainable, not only do they not need relief but they have the ability to give time. They have the ability to give resources and to give vegetables and food…that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
Whether it’s a pastor in Bangladesh or a family in Haiti, FARMS loans and programs made a way for people to have established incomes and businesses that will help them weather a crisis like COVID-19. And it’s all done in Jesus’s name.
FARMS is praying for God’s leading as they continue to make decisions related to ministry. Clifton says they are currently working to strengthen the development programs they have rather than start new ones.
“As a ministry, we keep in touch with our programs. We’re waiting for those doors to open and to take each program one-by-one, case-by-case and assess what’s needed and…invest into those.”
Meanwhile, please pray for FARMS’ beneficiaries to be spiritually encouraged as they seek financial freedom in a pandemic. Ask the Lord to bless their development programs with growth and deep impact.
Ultimately, Clifton says, “Our hope would be if there’s another pandemic that comes along in the future, that we would be hearing more stories, we would have more evidence of people who have moved from dependence to sustainability and…to helping share the love of Christ.”
Header photo courtesy of FARMS International.