The ServLife Hope Fund is our micro-enterprise initiative for the unemployed and under-employed of the world who suffers from hunger, poverty and malnutrition. We believe that the ServLife Hope Fund is a strategic way to help people escape the trappings of poverty and hunger.
We always work to create relationships with the local church and community so that those who receive the loans know that the local church, no matter how small, is concerned for the community. We believe this opens doors and builds trust for sharing faith and relationship.
The following report from a village in Nepal where a Hope Fund was started, was shared from Mark Storm, ServLife staff member on the ground in Asia. This is an example of what the ServLife Hope Fund is all about and what separates it from other micro-enterprise initiatives: not only meeting economical and physical needs, but relationship building and providing an open door for the Gospel to be experienced an explored.
“Two years ago, Hom Bahadur was released from prison in Dhankhuta. After his release, he moved back to his home village. He had just served 12 years for murdering his brother over a family financial dispute. Jail time behind him, he was ready to get back on with life.
Fast forward a year or so (that brings us to December 2008), and Hom Bahadur is receiving a loan from ServLife’s Hope Fund program in eastern Nepal. The information about his criminal history was unknown to me until last week. Had I already known his background, I probably would have had reservations about mixing it up financially with him. But when our own human, worldly wisdom fails, God steps in.
Hom Bahadur now is financially better off than he was a year ago. He has a milk and offspring producing buffalo, he has a buffalo calf, and another buffalo calf due to be born in a month or so. His microloan is being paid off in regular installments. His family is healthier due to the increase of dairy products in their diets.
When he received the loan, he was hesitant because it was from a Christian group. He confronted the church planter because he wanted to know why the Christians would want to help him. Why would they loan money without collateral and without threatening collection techniques? After all, he is a convicted murderer. The church planter explained that helping those less fortunate is part of acting out the faith. Hom Bahadur left from this impromptu meeting feeling much better about being involved with Christians.
Other discussions followed, and five months later Hom Bahadur started attending the weekly fellowships in his village. A month later, he officially joins the church. Two months after that (roughly present day), Hom Bahadur was attending one of ServLife’s training sessions in Kathmandu geared to develop layleaders. That’s where I saw him last. Hom Bahadur was almost giddy with excitement when I saw him at the training center. We were both surprised to see each other in this context. When we had met previously in eastern Nepal, he was a practicing Hindu, offering pujas under a hillside pipal tree. But there he was in the training session, still trying to find his way through his Bible. We would love to see more of this.”
The Hope Fund is designed to be this type of open door. A door where one can peek in and ask all the questions they’d like, whenever they’d like. Helping people economically and spiritually with the same effort is our goal.
(From the “Fund” drop-down box, select Project Support, then enter the dollar amount and select “ServLife Hope Fund” for the project to give to. Then enter “Hope Fund Nepal” in the Comments section)