Jereun's Story

This is one of a series of posts written by Jaime Garcia, a young missionary who we have partnered with for some work in Thailand.

Jereun, his wife Surimath Yangyue, and their sons
Jereun was a small-statured man, with a big smile, and all blackened teeth (a custom of the Hmong). Prior to receiving a FARMS revolving loan, he lived in a small grass hut. He did not possess any transportation, and was at the mercy of whatever storm engulfed him. In this dire time, he regretfully took out a loan from a secular institution. He was quickly overwhelmed by the exorbitant interest rate; roughly 130% of the original amount he owed. During the backbreaking season that ensued, he was placed into the vice grip of depression. He struggled to survive and feed his wife and children, while at the same time paying back the loan and the interest. Not only was the financial yoke bearing down upon his shoulders, but also the cruel fact of his land being signed over to the loan company for collateral was leaving its mark.

If he failed to make payment, his property would be seized, and his family would potentially starve. These harsh burdens lasted for the next several years. After paying off the loan completely, Jereun experienced some relief. He was in a season where he desired simply to live, support his family, and create a humble, sustainable income.

Over the course of the next year, he was introduced to several representatives of FARMS. He heard of the simple, yet profound philosophy of this ministry that supported and empowered local Christian farmers. There was no interest charged on loans, the program was Christian led and administered, grace was actively practiced, the leaders worked with the locals to create a plan that worked for them, and a tithe of whatever profits they made would be contributed directly to their local, Hmong church.
One of Jereun's motorcycles Jereun's house
With FARMS’ help he prospered, and in the course of five years, Jereun was able to purchase 8 acres of rice paddy, and 8 acres of corn field. He also purchased 2 motorcycles, finished renovating their home, and was now able to pay the minimal fees for his children to attend government schools! “Most importantly,” he shared, “I actually had time to spend reading the Word of God. Having no debt, and not constantly worrying about the bare necessities of life freed me to pursue the Lord, and the Bible, and fellowship within my church. I am so grateful for this.”

Jaime Garcia

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