Transforming the lives of the poor—both economically and spiritually—is what the Micro-Loan Ministry is all about, and 2016 was an exciting and eventful year in which we witnessed God changing lives!
To begin with, we doubled our team with the addition of Isaac and Sarah Shepherd. We also developed new ways to create sustainable and effective micro-banks, empowered more business owners to create and grow businesses, and sent our team around the world to support our current projects, start new banks, and conduct trainings. Our ministry has grown economically, spiritually and sustainably in ways we never would have imagined; and we thank God for the donors who have made it all possible!
A larger team enabled us to travel to 10 countries last year, three of which are beginning their first projects. We have also developed a new form of spiritual discipleship and training for our borrower groups to study as they meet to repay their loans. We are looking forward to be integrating this spiritual growth curriculum in 2017.
As always, our ministry is growing economically—more than $600,000 total capitalization spread across 100 micro-banks in 15 countries—and the number of banks keeps growing. We added 21 new micro-bankers in 2016 who are reaching out with loans to 110 new borrowers. Our hope is that the growth we’ve seen in recent months will become exponential as we encourage our micro-bankers to raise up and support leaders around them to become new partners who reach new areas for our ministry—and it’s already happening on a larger scale than ever!
We have also continued to invest in our Small Business Trainings, teaching potential borrowers and micro-bankers about wise business principles and how to glorify God with their entrepreneurship. Last year we coordinated, funded and taught four SBTs in three different countries. A total of 772 students were taught for a cost of about $15 each.
Please pray for us this year as we travel again to many of the 15 countries where we are working, as well as several new countries—including another communist nation in Asia, another location where we must “fly under the radar” to help our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray that we can continue to help the poorest of the poor to reach sustainability for themselves and their families through training and micro-loans. And all for His glory.