The Gemach Project

An Interest Free Micro-Loan Program

The Gemach Project has made 14 new loans in Pencangou, Niger. These loans were made through a cooperative effort of the Assemblies Of God and Baptiste Church in Niger.

This last February, as we crossed Burundi by vehicle, I started noticing as the children came to the roadway to wave at us that they were all wearing the same color of shirts.  All of them had on a brown shirt.  They were in tatters and just barely hanging from their bodies.  I then noticed that all of the men’s shirts were the same color.  It slowly dawned on me that the shirts were all the same color because they were all the same color of the dirt lining the roads.  They were the same color because they could not afford to buy new ones or wash what they had.  That is why I am pleased to announce that we have made ten new loans in Cibitoke, Burundi.   These loans have been made to those that our local administrators feel are in the greatest need.  Please pray for this country that is one of the poorest in the world and pray for these ten families that their businesses would succeed and that they would have a better life because of these loans.

Last night I saw a solicitation on TV for UNICEF.  They say they can feed a hungry child for 50 cents a day.    That equals $15 a month.  For less than $10 each we can feed, provide school fees and medical attention per person for life.  That is a one time donation of less than $10 for life not for twenty days.  Where should you give your donations?

Right now we could use just a little of that help.  Our next project is to fund 9 loans in Cibitoke, Burundi.  Again, Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world.  An orphanage and school that we work through in Cibitoke has identified 9 families that are in great need.  We will fund these 9 loans as soon as we get the last $300.  Just a little help if God so moves you.

Our next project after this one is one that I am particularly excited about.  We will be funded loans to 14 widows in Burkina Faso.  This is the first step in what could be a great partnership that could eventually change the lives of over one thousand widows in that country.  More to follow on this as we get closer.

I just received reports on six areas of Benin that were given loans last spring.  All areas have paid back the loans at the following rates;

Glodjigbe – 24 loans all paid back at 100%

Igbo Iyoko – 9 loans all paid back at 100%

Seme Podji – 25 loans all paid back at 100%

Cotonou – 22 loans paid back at a rate of 95%

PK10- 19 loans paid back at a rate of 95%

Ze – 45 loans all paid back at 100%

A total of 144 loans paid back at a rate of 98.6%.  This certainly shows that the rational behind other micro lending institutions, charging interest because they won’t take the loans seriously if you don’t is just that, rationalizing.  They charge a minimum of 20% and brag about a 91% return rate.  We charge 0% interest and our return rate is 98.6%.  God blesses when we do things as he tells us to do them.

After an absence of three years The Gemach Project has been able to return to Burkina Faso to once again start making loans.  The Assemblies of God church approached The Gemach Project and asked if they ran the project, which would include administering the loans, collecting payments and making reports, if we would consider making loans to missionary pastors from the church.  We agreed and we just made 31 new loans in Burkina Faso.  The loans will enable the wives to run the businesses, which in most cases will be raising animals to sell, while their husbands start new churches in Eastern Burkina Faso.

The Gemach Project has been able to fund 22 loans in the village of Pencangou, Niger.  This was made possible by the use of funds that were paid back in the villages of Tibonti and Pitchengou.  In those two villages all loans were paid back at the rate of 100%.  There were zero defaults.  Thanks to all in these villages for their hard work and may God bless their businesses.

There are ten women awaiting loans in Pencangou that we currently do not have the funds for.

Burundi

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Burundi is the third poorest nation in the world.  This week we will be starting our first project there by giving loans to 11 poor families in Gitega, Burundi.  According to the World Bank 81% of the people in Burundi make less than $1.25 a day and that 10% of the children die under the age of five.  We know that this is just a very small start but with God’s continued blessing we will do much more.

Burundi will be the 10th country that Gemach is now involved in.  We have one more project awaiting funding in Cibitoke, Burundi, two in Burkina Faso and one in Niger.  If you have felt that God wishes you to help with what we are doing please yield to Him.  Thanks again for everyone’s continued support.

2,000

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We just passed our 2,00oth loan.  2,020 to be exact.  These loans were made in nine countries and in 96 different groups.  Our repayment rate throughout all of these loans is 93.46%.   Over 1100 of these loans have been given in Benin and Niger with a repayment rate over 99%.   We are averaging a cost of $64.03 to help a family of seven.  That is $9.15 per person.  This enables them to provide food, pay for school fees, and provide medical attention as needed for as long as their business is successful.  We thank God for his continued blessing, our donors for their support, our administrators for their diligence , and our recipients for their hard work and honesty.

A pastor, and our local loan administrator, in Niger recently sent me an e-mail which stated the following:  “Gemach is the seed of the church.  I believe with all my heart”.  We of course realize that The Gemach Project brings no one to Christ by themselves.  We try to serve as a way for the pastors to get into communities that might otherwise be closed to them.  This is proving to be the case in Niger.  These loans open doors through which the pastors can preach the Gospel.  When Ptichengou, Niger paid off their 29 loans at a 100% return rate this month, it was decided to give loans to 21 new Christians in Oukouafouanou.  These women came to Christ in 2013 after we started giving loans in their village.  We take no credit for this as it is the work of those giving them the truth and the Holy Spirit touching their hearts to accept it.  We are content with the little we can do to walk through the doors that God opens for us and hold them open for those to follow.

© 2014 The Gemach Project