Micro-enterprise brings color to a church ministry in Senegal

By October 29, 2007

Senegal (MNN)– Senegal is a moderate Muslim
country. 

FARMS International's Nathan McLaughlin says Christians there face hurdles when it comes to renting
homes, building churches, enrolling their children into school, and obtaining
financing.

But that doesn't discourage the
church leaders. One pastor says, in
spite of the hardship, "The mission of the Christian churches in this area
(Senegal) is ‘To present the entire gospel, and the real Jesus Christ.'" But that can be hard to do if there are
economic troubles looming.  That's where
FARMS comes in.

In many cases, FARMS micro-enterprise plays a key
role in change. "FARMS is just
providing these people a level playing field by providing them money that they
need to build a business that's productive." 

The stipulation is that the loan recipient tithes to his local church to support the
pastor, hence freeing him up to do more outreach. It works another way,
too. A work ethic speaks loudly in this
community.

For example, McLaughlin says they recently helped
one family buy art supplies for the paintings they made and sold to the
tourists and hospitality industry. That
led to an open door for evangelistic work because "they've been a part of
FARMS. The increased tithing, the
witness, and the testimony really help to spread the Gospel in areas that are
very closed to the Gospel right now." 

The Senegal FARMS program launched about three years
ago, and the impact was immediately felt. Says McLaughlin, "We are working
with a number of churches in Dakar–the capital city, and the second city is
Rufisque." 

McLaughlin says, with their help, the church is able
to build on a future in Senegal. "It's just a great growth story. They built a church, and they're looking at some opportunities to build
schools for Christian children where the Gospel can be taught." 

Pray that the Senegalese Christian community maintains
their outreach vision. Click here if you can help.

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