Growing on His Path
The Micro-Loan Ministry’s 2016 year-end review
As the end of 2016 approaches, we are in awe of what God has accomplished in and through the Micro-Loan Ministry (MLM) this year. The MLM not only continues to grow in our number of borrowers and micro-bankers, but also within our own team. This year, we added 21 new micro-bankers and hundreds of new borrowers, while Isaac and Sarah joined the team in January and July respectively.
Our bigger team enabled us to travel to 10 countries this year, 3 of which are beginning their first micro-loan projects. The MLM team coordinated, funded, and taught a total of 4 Small Business Trainings in 3 different countries, with a total of 772 students and a cost of approximately $15 per student.
We have also developed a new form of spiritual discipleship material for our God’s Love Groups (GLG) to study as they meet to repay their loan called the God’s Love Group Discipleship Series (GLGDS). We are excited to continue to develop and integrate this emphasis on spiritual growth within the next year.
Due to the generosity of our supporters, the MLM continues to grow with $673,873 invested in 15 countries. We expect to see organic growth as our micro-bankers identify other leaders around them and mentor them to become new partners and reach new areas for our ministry. We have already seen this happening with established partners on a larger scale than ever in 2016.
We cannot begin to express how grateful we are for your support. It is a blessing beyond measure for us to witness firsthand the work God is continuing to accomplish through the Micro-Loan Ministry and our partners on the ground. We see lives, families, and communities being transformed through the opportunities made available through a micro-loan reinforced with spiritual discipleship and business training. The impact of these projects goes beyond providing immediate but limited help like one more bag of rice to feed a family or one more animal to someone’s livestock. This transformation reaches into the depths of a person’s spirit, life, and livelihood and creates a sustainable and lasting change to their circumstances.
As we dwell in this season of advent and giving, please consider contributing to the Micro-Loan Ministry. 2017 will be our busiest year yet. Within the first two months of next year, our team will be traveling to six countries. We commit to sharing stories from the field with you as we visit each of our micro-bankers at least once this year.
Only by God’s grace through our supporters are we able to continue to nurture, sustain, and grow the opportunities God has placed and will place in our path. We ask above all that you pray for us and our brothers and sisters around the world working tirelessly to share God’s love and redeeming plan with each and every partner, micro-banker, and borrower.
May God bless you and keep you through this Christmas season and through the New Year!
In Christ alone,
The Micro-Loan Ministry Team
Dan and Terry Steward, Directors
Isaac and Sarah Shepherd*
*Isaac and Sarah are now using the last name of “Shepherd” for all of their Heaven’s Family-related communications, due to newly restricted countries where our team will be traveling.