Here’s an interesting thought: The people who have not been trying to help the poor, but who have just been trying to make money, have actually done much more to help the poor than those of us who are just trying to help the poor. How so? By their contributions to a functioning economy, they’ve created opportunities for the poor to participate. The truth is, it is not handouts, but education, skills training and earning opportunities that are the best solution to poverty. Heaven’s Family is involved in all three, and in the years ahead, our involvement will grow.
One opportunity that often evades the poor is the chance to borrow money to launch self-sustaining businesses. Our Micro-Loan Fund exists to change that, and we’ve already helped thousands of enterprising believers start small businesses by which they can support their families.
Dick Samuels is now turning over directorship of the Micro-Loan Fund to our newest staff member, Dan O’Connell, who is taking an early retirement from IBM to serve the “least of these.” During this trip, Dan has been meeting with Heaven’s Family micro-bankers and borrowers, and some of our conversations have revolved around the need for business training among both. I’ve been dreaming of Heaven’s Family having a Business Training Fund for a long time, and I can now see it on the horizon.
We’ve visited quite a few happy small-business owners over the past few days in Rwanda and Kenya who all got their start with a loan from Heaven’s Family. In some cases, such as in the case of certain widows, they’ve gotten their starts with one-time grants rather than loans. Below are a few of their photos.