This is Astrida and her husband. In 2015 Astrida was invited to join one of our church-based savings groups in Malawi. At the time her family was food insecure and her children could not attend school due to their inability to pay school fees. They were also living in a grass-walled house which was a significant challenge during the rainy season. Yet Astrida had hope, an undaunted work ethic, and a savings group community to be a part of. She took out a loan equivalent to $7 US dollars and started selling women’s “wrappers” (the clothing she is modeling in the picture above). As this business grew, she began selling rice, and eventually helped her husband get started in carpentry. They are now on their fifth loan cycle and have always repaid their loans! Today their children can go to school, they are no longer food insecure, and they are finalizing the build of their beautiful brick house pictured above. The roof will be put on in a few weeks and they will be able to move in before the end of the year – just before the rainy season. Astrida says she “found God” through this savings group. “Poverty has left us, and we are a dignified family now.”
Astrida and her family are the reason Homes for HOPE exists as a vehicle for the building industry to fight against global poverty. They didn’t need someone to give them food, pay their school fees, or build them a house. They needed a sustainable solution that lasts for the long term – a hand up, not a handout. Through HOPE’s local church partner, Astrida received biblically based training, access to savings services, and loans to get her started. Astrida’s family had their dignity restored not through what we’ve done, but by the grace of God and through their own hard work.
HOPE International serves almost 967,000 men and women around the world. 967,000 stories like this one can be told by people who are full of potential, gifts, and dreams—all they need is someone to take a chance on them. Homes for HOPE counts it a great joy to be part of an organization that looks past obstacles to see capacity and promise and has committed to give a one-million-dollar grant in support of HOPE International in 2019. To date, we have already transferred $350,000 of that commitment. As the year is winding to a close, we’re asking you to help us empower entrepreneurs like Astrida. We invite you to be a part of fulfilling or surpassing the remaining $650,000 of our goal this year.
For every $1 we send to our microfinance institutions, $15.95 is lent out by HOPE International and its partners. Furthermore, our loans are paid back and reissued at an average of 98.2% which means the impact of your gift grows continually and exponentially. Please prayerfully consider making your generous gift safely and securely online or if you would prefer to send a check – please make it out to “Homes for HOPE” and mail your gift in by December 31st to 227 Granite Run Dr. | Suite 250 | Lancaster, PA 17601. All gifts are tax-deductible.
Around the world, there are millions of people like Astrida and her family. When we invest in families and share the Gospel, we see them invest lavishly in others—adopting orphans, employing neighbors, mentoring friends—and as they do, entire communities begin to flourish. This Christmas season, we celebrate our God who did infinitely more than invest in us. Driven by love, Jesus left heaven to share in our poverty and sacrificed His life, so we could truly live. We rejoice in our Savior’s beautiful invitation and the hope He offers to all people.
Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas,