Vic's Story

Vic grew up in a small rural village named Aguilar in Pangasinan, Philippines. This rice farming community was remote and suffered from persistent poverty. His parents were farmers. One day in 1986, he heard some exciting news. It would change his life forever. His school principal invited a Philippine children’s ministry to run a children’s camp for their students. Vic was in Grade 5, and eagerly set off to attend the camp. There he gave his life to the Lord Jesus.

In 1995, Vic’s interest in agriculture led him to take a course in poultry management at Central Luzon University. During this intensive course, Vic noticed a persistent infection in his left foot! The doctors’ only recommendation was to amputate his foot to stop the infection. This terrifying news lead to a serious encounter with the Lord. Vic was a Christian, but like many others, he had never dedicated his whole life to the Lordship of Jesus. He prayed, “God, if you have a plan for my life to serve you, please heal my …

Aja'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.

Within the congested city center of Chiang Rai, Thailand, resided a young boy named Aja. Throughout his meaningless childhood, he worked as a service station boy. Many like him, were well acquainted with the oppression and dangers of being a pump boy. Corporate gas stations usurped hundreds of young, uneducated boys to become pump helpers. Aja’s bare necessities were barely met by the measly wage. A decade later, he found himself still slaving at the station. His desolate future began to etch painfully into his soul. The vanity of the whole affair created an acute sensation of meaninglessness. He despaired, and longed for something, anything at all, other than endlessly rushing petrol into drivers’ vehicles. His heart was sick, yet his mind was brimming with dreams.
Around this time, Aja found a wife and they were blessed with two children. He felt as if h…

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 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…

Aphi'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.

On the rolling hills of Chiang Rai Province, Thailand, a quaint village was nestled deep in the throbbing heart of the mountains. For centuries, this remote settlement had been called Mae Suai by the locals, meaning ‘the beautiful matriarch.’ During the 1960’s and 70’s, turmoil in the Laos and Myanmar forced tens of thousands of minority peoples to flee their villages. They slogged through precarious tangles of overgrown jungle, to cross the bloodstained, Thai guarded border. With great anxiety, throngs of newcomers arrived in ‘the land of freedom.’ Thailand became, for many, a place of asylum and opportunity, and for the Akha people, a rugged group of hunters and once-famed warriors, it became a place to proliferate their heritage unfettered from the oppression of their homelands.

The Akha people were known for being hard line animists, believers in a spi…

Cuban Bici-taxi

Transportation is in big demand in Cuba. Very few can afford to own a motorcycle, let alone a car. Therefore, you see a lot of human powered transportation, especially in rural areas.
A Bici-taxi is a very popular mode of transportation. Pastor Mario was able to receive a loan of $450 from the FARMS committee to buy a used bici-taxi. I was able to visit the pastor and heard that the pastor’s twenty year old son, Josbani, is the operator of the taxi. Mario related what the loan meant to his family. He said it was a “huge blessing.” His son now has a full time job and the taxi has created enough income to provide for their entire family of eight! Also, Mario and his wife have a son that is special needs, and the added income made it possible to improve a room where their son sleeps.
All of their income from the project is tithed to their rapidly growing church. In addition, about nine months ago they were led to plant another church that now has thirty members. Pastor Mario related that…

Cuban Electrical Repair

This is Mr. Rondo and his wife who live near Camaguey, Cuba. Although Mr. Rondo was trained as an electrician and as an appliance repairman, he could not find work because he had no tools or a place to work. It took just a small loan of $100 to enable him to buy some tools and to build a small shop behind his home.

When I asked him what the loan meant to him, his wife Helen and their two year daughter Angela, this was his answer. “The loan has been a prayer answered by God as a way to support my family. With my loan I started repairing small appliances in 2015 and because the business grew, I was able to employ my own father who had no job!”

One part of the business that has really grown, is the repair and manufacture of “flashers.” These are like a blinking tail light and by law all vehicles need to have them to operate on the roads at night. There is enough demand for this that Mr. Rondo's father helps him with this part of the business. Mr. Rondo also has expanded his business…

Cuban Carpentry

Tourism is booming in Cuba. Now with regular flights from the USA, anyone can travel to this island nation. The demand for souvenirs “Made in Cuba” is a surprise blessing to one our projects! Pastor Narlisus, is a skilled carpenter, and the FARMS Cuba committee helped him with a $3,500 loan for tools and for improvements to his carpentry shop. Because of the demand for his work in building furniture and other itemshe was able to hire three other full time workers and plans to hire two more in the coming months!

Hurricane Mathew hit the east end of Cuba, where his church and home is located, but even though he suffered a lot of damage, he has pressed on. The tithes of his employees have greatly blessed the church, enabling them rebuild their damaged church and even expand it. He also shared with me, that the project has greatly increased their family income enabling him to buy his wife Eny, a “much needed” wash machine.

When approached by a buyer about making souvenirs for the influx o…