God’s primary strategy for working in our world, even for alleviating poverty, is through believers. Ideally, these are local believers who can best evaluate needs and help their people most effectively. Our role in SALT* Microfinance Solutions is to walk beside church communities in developing countries, helping believers in these settings to instruct their own people on the importance of Biblical business principles and following Jesus in daily life.
Where no church exists, we work with conservative Anabaptist groups as they plant churches. We see establishing and strengthening local churches as an essential part of God’s plan.
Many people think of SALT primarily as an economic development program since it provides small loans and teaches the importance of savings. That is certainly part of our focus, but the primary role of the SALT program is Biblical teaching.
When we start a program in a developing country, our first task is to find local men, known to be strong believers, who are capable of teaching. We spend many hours with them, providing training and materials so they can teach Biblical principles to their own people.
Andrew, pictured above, is one of these men. He lives in Nigeria, a country that faces tremendous spiritual and physical needs. Andrew is passionate about his people, stronger churches, and less reliance on foreign aid. The SALT program is providing a platform for him to teach his fellow Nigerians.
From its inception, the SALT program has had two primary goals: To help people discover ways to provide for their families and to pattern and teach a Biblical way of life. Our tendency as North Americans is to see material aid as the primary need when confronted with chronic poverty. While aid is appropriate to meet certain needs, millions around the globe already have the resources to live productive lives. But they need help too! The help they need is encouragement and solid Biblical teaching to understand how to use the resources they have.
The cause of multigenerational chronic poverty is almost always deeply rooted in a community’s worldview. If we desire that churches flourish, we must begin by teaching the younger generation. Many children attend SALT meetings with their parents and, like the boy pictured above, enjoy our teaching manuals. It is never too soon to begin developing a Biblical worldview.
Thank you for your continued support of the SALT program! Pray that avenues like Bible-based financial teaching would inspire strong church communities in places around the world.
*SALT is an acronym for Shared Accountability, Lending, and Teaching.
To help support the SALT Microfinance Solutions program, please click the button below to give a gift.