Showing posts from 2016

Tamara's Story

Tamera in her home village Tamara began her life in a small village in southern Moldova. Sadly, like many children there, abuse and neglect destroyed her youth and self-worth. She shared her story with my wife Pat and I while in Moldova last Spring. "My life growing up was very sad. I felt more like an orphan than part of a family. I felt like rubbish! Worthless! I felt like there was no reason to live, I might as well die. My life was aimless. Then one day a girl shared with me a verse from the Bible. She read John 3:16 like this. So God so loved Tamara that he gave his only son that Tamara should not die, but have eternal life. For me to hear that God loved me, was such a surprise, so amazing. Love was something I knew little about. I knew nothing about God, or how to pray or even how to act. Then some time later a friend of mine gave me a Bible and by reading God’s word, I became a Christian in 1996. Because of this, my parents kicked me out of my home, but thankfully a Chr

FARMS in the Philippines - 2016 Update

Here are some updates from our Pangasinan-Philippines projects. These images were provided by our committee as part of the reports they submit to FARMS. The Pangasinan-Philippines volunteer committee is doing a great job administering the FARMS program. Pictured here is the committee and several project holders at their monthly meeting. During these meetings they pray and encourage each other. They also make payments on their loans or receive new loans. Following the meeting, they visit ongoing projects. These meetings have been a real blessing to the program and the project holders. In addition, the committee meets once a month to consider new project proposals. Pictured here is Marivic Estabillio, the secretary-treasurer of FARMS Pangasinan with Marites Largo at her bakery. She has paid back her original loan of $425 and was given a second loan of $640. Besides her bakery,  Marites  has a small store that FARMS has helped her with. She has been very faithful with FAR

FARMS Visit to Moldova in 2016

My wife Pat and I (Joe) had the privilege of visiting our program in Moldova this past spring. It was a fascinating trip. Our missionary liaisons, Ghiorghi and Cristiana Cazacu took us from northern Moldova to the southern border of the country. It is a beautiful country with rolling hills and rich farmland. Along the way we visited several of the families with existing FARMS projects and other families that need our assistance. A Baptist pastor gathering feed for his goats Moldova and Albania rank together as the poorest countries in Europe. Life in Moldova is extremely difficult, and signs of poverty are abundant. It is a common sight to see rows of men and women cultivating large fields with hand hoes; reminiscent of farming in America over a century ago! Good jobs are nearly non-existent, forcing many of the young and educated to leave the country. The costs of basic necessities are high and fuel is extremely costly. Horse drawn carts are a common sight. The average wage of a

Update from Executive Director - Combatting Weariness

Greetings in the precious name of Jesus! “And let us not be weary in well doing:…” Galatians 6:9. Why did God inspire Paul to write these words? I think deep down, we all know the answer. God’s children are his instruments of love and mercy in a fallen world. If we don’t do good, who will? Also, the rest of the verse reveals the promise. “…for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Weariness is a common malady, of all those that do good. It fosters the temptation to give up. The many needs we are confronted with overwhelm us at times. Therefore, we all need this reminder not to grow weary. A Filipino FARMS loan recipient in his corn field  As the Executive Director for FARMS International, I see and hear about needs all the time. I love my work, the ministry, and those we serve, but I too sense weariness at times. Sometime ago, I set up my screen saver to go randomly through my photos from my visits overseas; what great therapy! Those faces, those smiles, those famili

FARMs Loan Reciepients in Thailand Pt. 1

In this post we will highlight two participants of the a FARMS program in Thailand. Sing and Chantida Sing and Chantida have two boys and one girl. This is the first time that they have used the FARMS loan program and they have agreed to pay the money back in a years’ time. Their loan was for 60,000 Baht or about $1,715. With their loan they are funding their coffee production, linchee fruit trees, and their yearly rice planting. They needed the loan to plant more trees, to buy adequate fertilizers and other items needed to increase their harvest. The main reason for the expansion of their farm is to provide for their children’s college education. All three of their children are near college age. Normally, higher education is only a dream for tribal families. However, we see this dream come true for project holder’s children over, and over again. Your help makes this possible. Su Yuan and Nan Ti Gan Su Yuan and Nan Ti Gan have two young girls, 9 and 12 years old. The

FARMs Loan Reciepients in Thailand Pt. 2

Suntalee and Kitti Safon Suntalee (holding her four year old boy who was born deaf) has been a Christian for some time. Her husband came to know the Lord about seven years ago. They applied for their first loan with FARMS to improve their coffee crop. Their loan was for $430. It is their hope, that they will earn enough from their project to send their little son to a school that teaches sign language. The mother is required to attend and the father is encouraged to attend also. The school is in a large city three hours away. Pray for this young family and for their little boy. Pray that God will bless the work of their hands and give them the desires of their hearts. Ying and Jiawseng Farm Ying and his wife Jiawseng have had several loans from FARMS. Their present loan is for $1,715. They are using the loan to improve their coffee yield with fertilizer application and irrigation. They also will use part of their loan for their yearly rice crop. This family has been extremely

Micro-credit vs the FARMS approach

Micro-credit was hailed as a cure-all for poverty. Nevertheless, several recent studies have documented the true picture. Little evidence was found for the illusory claims of reducing poverty. In fact, studies have shown that instead of the poor being released from poverty, secular micro-credit programs have encumbered the poor with layers of debt! This horrendous outcome is not surprising to me. Why? Because the whole scheme was built on the backs of the poor. The poor pay for this help, by supporting those running the programs as well as funding the cost of their credit, enabling the financiers to become richer and richer. This unbiblical approach to poverty, funded by interest rates of 35% and above, is a travesty. One study reported that the poor paid over 21 billion dollars in micro-credit interest in 2012! But there is good news! FARMS International has a biblical approach to poverty. Local volunteers run our programs, so the cost is very low. Also, we do not charge interest! T

FARMS Blog Returns!

Hello and welcome to the new and improved blog for FARMS International! Stay tuned for updates and articles about FARMS work around the world. We wouldn't be able to do what we do without our supporters so thank you and we hope you stick around.