As the pandemic continues and countries begin to open back up, our work in each base is looking different every week. However, we are blessed to continue finding ways to serve God in the communities to bring light and hope. Today’s story comes from our Microfinance Site in Nicaragua.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.”
2 Corinthians 4:8
The pandemic’s effects on all of us are evident (health, economic, social, and spiritual). Although we do not know the depth of the final repercussions that will take place in these areas, we, as a Microfinance site, are doing what we can. We are adapting protocols and strategies to recover loans made and evaluating how to adjust these into businesses that have survived through this pandemic. We also continue to share the good news of salvation through technology-assisted devotionals and messages of encouragement.
The negative impacts suffered by the businesses are numerous, and many are causing a domino effect. We have seen many businesses close, and our members were some of the primary providers for those third-party businesses. We have seen our members struggle with a lack of capital to invest since they prioritized their money for medical expenses and food, which has made it difficult for them to reopen their businesses once the contagion curve fell.
We feel the responsibility to help these small businesses’ productive activity through loans and financial advice, which has allowed us a more significant link between the members and us as a ministry.
Since the pandemic, we have approved ten business loan disbursements. Some of the strategies we implemented were: the ability to make payments, field and family analysis, advise them on the proper use of a loan to be able to generate income even amid the pandemic, promote savings habits, and the creation of emergency funds to face future crises.
We have been walking alongside some members who require medical assistance and financing vocational classes for five women who are looking to launch their new business.
In our new normal, Fernando and Katia continue to have face-to-face meetings in six communities and one virtual meeting with another. Following sanitation protocols, we can share financial classes, devotionals, visits to homes and businesses, and have different recreational activities with the ladies to manage stress levels and get out of the routine. We are encouraged as the groups are still meeting together to learn and encourage one another. We have the hope that God will provide unique opportunities for these ladies and that they can witness the loving hand of the Father in their lives.
- Thank God for the direction from Seth Jurgenson, our director, as he encouraged us to plan on being prepared for any new challenges that might come up with the pandemic.
- We thank God for guiding us and allowing us to respond to the needs of our members.
- For God to strengthen people facing different hardships related to their health, whether they are chronic or terminal illnesses.
- Pray that God gives Fernando and Katia the wisdom, discernment, and strategies to face the new challenges that will come.
- Pray for the families who have lost their jobs and that God will open new doors for them.