The Gemach Project

An Interest Free Micro-Loan Program

This short video from our Founder, Calvin Hemphill explains what The Gemach Project is and the impact these interest free micro-loans have on peoples lives.

The Gemach Project is once again starting a pilot project in Burundi.  We tried two years ago but it resulted in failure.  The political situation deteriorated so badly that it was unsafe to do business and many people fled the country fearing that the genocide was about to begin again.  Many have heard about the genocide in Rwanda but do not realize that it also hit hard in Burundi.  We are happy to report that the situation there has stabilized somewhat and thus we will start over.

Please pray for Burundi’s stability and the success of these businesses so that we can do more.


The Gemach Project is pleased to announce that we have begun a pilot program in the Central African Republic.  This is a country that has seen a large amount of violence over the past several years.  We will be working with a Pastor who has taken in hundreds of refugees from the fighting.  Our goal is to create an avenue for these refugees to start their own business to better themselves and at the same time relieving the burden on this pastor.  Please pray for peace, the success of these businesses and our ability to help even more.

Niger Meeting

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The Gemach Project will be bringing together the loan administrators from throughout Africa in Niger this February.  We are excited about this meeting , and it will be a great opportunity to exchange ideas, challenges and dreams.  We are looking for anyone willing to make an additional donation so that we can bring in as many people as possible.  These donations would be used for airfare and room and board.  We can not use donations that have been made for loans as we do not want to deprive anyone in need.  If you can help it would be greatly appreciated.

Wanted to give everyone a little update as it has been a very busy year both personally and with Gemach.

We have given as many loans in 2016 as we did in all of 2015.   This with decreased donations.  God has truly blessed us.

One of the things that has amazed me is the different ways that Gemach loans have been used this past year.  I thought I would share some of those with you.

Nigeria – To help those in northeast Nigeria that have been impacted by Boko Haram.  An area that is facing mass starvation.

Kenya – To help those start businesses who are helping to build a hospital to serve the poor and those with HIV.

Uganda – To make a school self sustaining that is for those who otherwise couldn’t go.

Benin – Focusing on one area to bring change to not just a few but to everyone.

Burkina – Loans for missionary pastors so they can devote time to spreading the Gospel.  Also to help widows of pastors.

Niger – To transform whole communities, many of which are Muslim, out of poverty with group businesses.

We have also begun pilot programs in Haiti and Gambia.

We think it is important to give our loan administrators the freedom to allow God to use them in the ways he wishes to.  Please continue to pray for wisdom, to follow God’s will and of course funding.

From Calvin…

Hedges and Gemach collaborate to bring hope to helpless and poor communities ravaged by poverty, persecution and insurgencies to place their trust in Jesus in the midst of despair and to step up their living conditions through practices as agents of creation and improve their economy through non interest loans. The partnership achieves the following,

1. Bring the message of salvation to communities. In the midst of despair and hopelessness only Jesus can give peace in the face of any crisis. We are therefore only responding to the great commission of our lord.

2. Create evangelistic bridges. Our work is not restricted to Christians but touches people of other faiths. We hope that through our acts of kindness and social response the glory of God will be seen in the face of Jesus.

3. Help people who are in crisis as our act of Christian service of not only praying for them but helping to meet their needs. We are called to the Great Commission and cultural commission. While we work to restore the relationship between men and God we also work to help people recover their true identity and vocation as creative force in God’s created order.

4. Create dialogue and windows for sharing our faith to a hostile and dying world. We bring the grace that touches all lives bringing peace, help and salvation to everyone.

The following pictures is a result of our work in the last 5months in collaboration with the Gemach that gives non interest loans. Small businesses are started and growing, families and children are being helped and the gospel message is coming alive.

The people in these pictures are both Christians and Muslims forgetting their differences and working for the common good.

Join us at Hedges, Nigeria!

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We have made our first venture outside of Africa with 15 new loans in Lajeune and Lapila, Haiti.  This will be a test project to see if Gemach loans will have the desired effect and results as those in Africa.  Please pray that we will receive firm guidance from God as to whether we continue with loans in Haiti or not.  We trust that his answer will be in the results.

Gemach 2015

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As we end another year I thought I would give everyone a recap of the last year.

We made 859 new loans throughout Africa.  These were made with $28,190 in new funds and $118,389 from paid back loans.

Of the loans that were due to be paid back we saw a return rate of 94.40%.  The majority of the defaults being in Burundi.  This country saw a dramatic upturn in violence this last year with many of the Gemach recipients fleeing the country.  Those that remain are unable to conduct business due to the unrest.

We have seen thousands escape poverty, establishment of new churches, tithing grown in existing churches, children receiving an education for the first time along with needed medical care, the Gospel being heard where it has never been heard before, decrease in malnutrition in areas, and people accepting Christ as their Savior.  Praise God.

Can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.

Niger has fully embraced The Gemach Project and has reached so many people. God has taken our small loans and multiplied them through amazing people. I’m so encouraged hearing the stories of how He is working in Niger!

Below is the latest update, (some minor editing).
News and testimony about Gemach project in Niger:

First we would like to Thanks God for all that God has done and continues to do by Gemach project in Niger. We can see with our eyes and touch with our hands what God has done by Gemach project through loans to poor women in Niger.

We paid $ 57,325 loan to Niger so far. Each loan is in the amount of $ 100.
We touched 1010 poor women. If we look behind every woman there is about an average 7 people so we can say we have reached about 7070 people, all out of extreme poverty and now having enough food, clothing, medicine and go to the school.
There are among these people 63 widows and 144 orphans affected by Gemach project.

The loans are granted to women following the activity of their choice. Some buy animals to sell a year later, others buy and sell condiments, others have been trained and equipped in dyeing and other have made fields Meringua. no loan repayment so far suffered except some cases of extension of maturity dates content of the nature of the activity.

– about animals, women can earn $ 100 to $ 200. Today 80% of women who buy and sell the animals are autonomous. They care for their families with food, health, clothing and school.
– For dyeing, we are at the stage of evaluation. The loans will be repaid in February 2016.
– For the Meringua, experience works very well. In Niger everyone eats Meringua. With meringua families find food and money to meet the needs for food, health, school. Meringua trees can live for 40 years. Autonomy even for small children of his wives. With Meringua the profit is very large. Just wait for two months while waiting for the trees begin to produce leaves.

– in 2016, we want to cover 20 villages with fields of Meringua.

The results of all these loans are:
– The framework and standards of living have improved
– Very poor families become self-sufficient on three vital points: food, health, school.
– Closed doors that open to the gospel
– The gospel is preached in villages.  We have explained the gospel to more than 200,000 people through Gemach project.
– we had won to Christ 183 people,  97 already baptized including 46 Muslims (women and men) in villages where Gemach project worked. And God continues to work in these villages.
– The church attendance is growing
– Tithing significantly believed.
– The servants of God in the villages are well supported financially
– The temples rebuilt
– More money circulating in the villages.

Gemach project will continue to work for God in Niger along with the proclamation of the gospel to the poor. all the glory to God.
Blogs Thanks.

We just gave out our 1,000th loan in Niger.  One thousand and ten to be exact.  So I thought that this would be a good time to let you know how things are going there and a few statistics.

Repayment rate is 99.60%.

We have sent $57,325 to Niger so far.

We have given $96,584 worth of loans.  (Includes loans being paid back and the funds given to someone else.)  This amount will continue to climb as more loans are paid back.

The average total outlay of  funds to bring a family out of poverty in Niger is $56.76  Since the average family has five children this means that for every $8.11 spent we are bringing one person out of poverty.  Our people on the ground tell us that one loans actually benefits the recipient and 9 other people as most are taking care of the elderly or orphans.  This means that for every $5.76 spent we are changing the life of one person.  We are consistently told that three basic things change.  They do not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, they can get medical attention as needed and they can pay the school fees so that their children can get an education.

It is my belief that there is no other organization that can bring someone out of poverty at the cost that we are doing it for.

Now let’s look at the implications not so easily judged:

A sense of worth and accomplishment in those receiving and paying back the loans.

Church attendance is growing.

Tithing is growing.

The entire community benefits as there is more money to be spent.

Opening doors in closed communities for the Gospel to be told.

Residents of these villages accepting Christ as their Savior.

We thank all that have supported us.  We thank those in Niger that oversee these loans.  We thank the people that are so conscientious that have paid back these loans.  Most of all we thank our Living God for giving us the vision and supplying the means to get this done.


© 2017 The Gemach Project