FARMS Loans Build Asian Communities and the Church

Eighteen years ago a FARMS International loan program seeded opportunity and the Gospel message in Northern Thailand. That community loan program became the root of two, soon to be three more.

FARMS church-based loan programs create a cycle of growth and blessing that expands the church and opportunity.

“They break the cycle of poverty. But in the process, they’re also able to give more to their churches and they’re able to use the business and the relationships through the business to share the gospel, says Scott Clifton of FARMS.

The North Thailand Church

The region’s programs began in North Thailand 18 years ago. After continuous growth the program now gives out over 100 loans a year. The committee that oversees the loans reports not a single missed payment in the last three years, says Clifton.

Businesses are as varied as the people behind them. From t-shirt printing to peanut butter manufacturing, as long as the plan is sound the committee is interested.

These loans have changed resident’s lives for the better. The North Thai residents told Clifton their story.

“When we moved here, we’d had bamboo structure, maybe a grass roof, a dirt floor, the clothes that we came with, maybe a couple extra clothes besides but that was really it,” he says.

A loan later they were investing in coffee growing and production. Fertilizer and supplies went in and profits followed. First they were able to buy a motorcycle, then a truck. Now they can travel around the region, reaching new people with the gospel message.

“You might be tempted to think of it just as material gain. Which is great to break out of the cycle of poverty that they’re in but these are pastors. These are people who love the Lord and they’re using whatever they have as tools for the ministry,” Clifton says.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kali Katerberg