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.

When I felt the calling in 2009 to start The Gemach Project it took us one year to raise $1,500.  It was discouraging to say the least.  We remained steadfast as I knew that this was what God wanted me to do.  We have really flown under the radar since but with God’s blessing, today we re-issued some loans in Nigeria which takes us over $500,000.00 worth of loans given.  We have made approximately 4,300 loans thus bringing approximately 30,000 people out of poverty.  That means that for every person we have taken out of poverty it has cost us $16.67.  One can only guess what God has in store for us over the next eight years.  Praise be to God.

New Shop

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I like the name this young lady gave the business that she started with her Gemach loan in the

Central African Republic.

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.

© 2017 The Gemach Project