Updated: Jul 25
Meet the Matovu family. Christopher lives with his wife and six children in a small village in Uganda. Until recently, they lived in extreme poverty, struggling to make ends meet and often went hungry. But thanks to a loan funded by Christian Hope International (CHI), Christopher has been able to turn his and his family's lives around.
The Loans for Hope project is a program that provides small loans through their local church to people in developing countries who want to start or expand a business but who don't have access to traditional finance through the banking system etc. The loans are provided with low interest rates, and they are typically repaid to the church over the course of a year or so. The money can then be loaned out again to another person in need. The Loans for Hope project has helped many others like Christopher in developing countries improve their lives.
Christopher and all his ancestors before him had always lived in traditional mudbrick houses. These are cheap to build but require constant maintenance as they suffer from erosion in the rainy seasons. Christopher's ambition was to build a brick house for his family so that they would have a secure home now and in the future.
"The loans scheme has got me far," Christopher said. "It enabled me to venture into the piggery project, which expanded exponentially. With the pig sales, I was able to buy a piece of land to help us grow more food at home. I later got another loan and started buying coffee from the farmers in my community. This brought more profits, and I was able to construct a brick house, something that no one in my family had ever done before."
Christopher is grateful for the opportunity that CHI has given him. "I thank God that through Christian Hope International, my family's chains of poverty are now broken," he said. "I can now support my church, pay my children's school fees, and look after my beautiful wife. I am also respected in the community."
Christopher's story is an inspiration to us all. It shows us that with trust in the Lord, as well as hard work and determination, anything is possible. If you are struggling to make ends meet, don't give up, remember these words from Jeremiah 29:11 NIV:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".