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A Capital Idea

Borrower serving customer in Laos
Sri, right, serving a customer

A Capital Idea

A recipe for success for one entrepreneur in Laos

Dear Family,

Laos is a socialist state where the government regulates many aspects of society and the lives of its citizens. While a hardened outlook seems to be a normal part of life in Laos (evidenced by the faces of many of the local residents) there is still an intense hope and faith in the lives of those who follow Jesus.

Sri and her husband Savan are such believers whose lives are filled with the hope of Jesus. They’ve faced many challenges as Christians living in Laos, including the struggle to provide for their family. Savan is fortunate to have steady income, but it’s a job that keeps him away from home all day and his income doesn’t meet all the financial needs of their growing family. So, while taking care of their two young boys, Sri runs a small retail shop from dawn to dusk right in front of their small-village home.

The shop has been open for about three years and business has been relatively good, providing much-needed additional income. But like any good entrepreneur, Sri dreamt of expansion. By including hot noodle soup to her offerings, she thought, she could grow her business and diversify her income. Without the necessary cooking supplies or the place for people to enjoy the soup (preferably away from the hot Lao sun), this was all but impossible. Sri lacked one special ingredient—capital.

But then the Lord connected Sri with opportunity through one of our micro-bankers. He explained how we sought to help hardworking individuals like her and, after reviewing her business idea and coaching her in how the process works (and other rather boring details), provided her with a loan for $235.

Sri used her loan to build a covered area in the front of her store and purchase tables and chairs so that customers could sit comfortably in the shade while eating. Next, she bought supplies and researched soup prices in the area. She discovered that she could offer soup with more noodles for a lower price than other stores in her village—and still make a reasonable profit.

Shop with new roof bought with loan
Sri’s shop at the front of her home, showing the roof and sitting areas she purchased with her loan

She was right. Her soup business has become very popular (and profitable)! She makes the soup in the morning, but often sells out hours before she closes up!

Sri’s hard work and ingenuity are paying off. She is now pregnant with their third child, and because of her success, she will be able to hire someone to help run the store when the baby is born.

As much as their family has benefited from this increased income, they have also been greatly blessed by their involvement with their God’s Love Group (groups of 5-7 borrowers like Sri who meet together twice a month for loan guarantees, discipleship and encouragement). “Because of the God’s Love Group, my family can spend time with other believing families. We receive care from them. We have [even] received Bibles.”

So, despite the hardships of life in Laos, especially for followers of Christ, business men and women are thriving economically and spiritually because you have invested in their lives through Heaven’s Family’s Microloan Ministry. Your partnership provides the “missing ingredient” to boost already-successful entrepreneurs like Sri into new realms of success that can break the chains of poverty for similar families around the world.

Thank you for your prayers and compassion!

Signature of Steve Johnston, Regional Director of the Microloan Ministry

Steven Johnston
Regional Director, Microloan Ministry

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