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Financial loan ministry targets extreme povertycomment (0)

February 22, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — By making small loans of $50 or $60, Christian ministries overseas are helping people in extreme poverty start businesses and become self-sufficient. The strategy is adding a new dimension to traditional Christian "mercy ministries" like medical missions, food distribution and water-well drilling.

"Micro-enterprise" lending can lift families, and sometimes entire villages, out of extreme poverty, said Richard Schroeder of World Hope International, which has set up such projects in seven countries. In Sierra Leone, their "bank for the poor" serves more clients than all the country’s commercial banks combined.

"There is tremendous poverty around the world and this is really a Christian response to seeking to help people pull themselves up by their own bootstraps," Schroeder told Mission Network News. World Hope helps local churches establish the financial institutions, which, in turn, give local believers more opportunities to share the gospel.

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