Millions of people around the world do not have resources to meet their basic needs. These people are living in poverty. Many of them do not have access to clean water, or the ability to buy or grow food. Many of them live in villages or cities with suffering economies, and there are simply no jobs. When people have limited food and water, education gets pushed back. In places like this, families are held captive to cycles of poverty.
Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and we are reminded of our brothers and sisters suffering in poverty around the world. It is discouraging to think of how many people poverty impacts, and of how the pain carries on to future generations.
The good news is this: we are doing something about it, and you can, too.
Taking action against poverty is one of the ways we as Christians are called to love. In 1 John, John reminded the church of the importance of putting faith in action.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18 ESV).
There are many ways you can bring hope to impoverished people. You can give your time and prayers, donate money to a program you’re passionate about, or even start your own. Poverty is all over the world—in other continents, and in your own city.
If you’re looking for a place to start, Jesus’ Economy has some great programs you can get involved in as we work to renew Bihar, India.
Bihar, India is a state with more than a million people living in extreme poverty. A large cause of the problem is a lack of clean water. Some women and children spend many hours each day walking miles to collect drinking water. This takes up so much time that women cannot work and children cannot go school. Our clean water program raises funds to drill wells in Bihar. Each well can provide safe water for 2,000 people, and so far we have completed four wells.
When families have access to safe water, women have more time to work and provide for their families. Our empowering women program is going to train 40 women to run successful tailoring businesses and sell their products on the western market. These women already have skills in tailoring, but need an opportunity to learn business skills. This program is currently 47 percent funded.
We are working to bring hope through the alleviation of physical and spiritual poverty. Our church planting program funds church planters in various villages in Bihar to set up home churches, and also to go into the villages and share the gospel. At this point, we are funding four church planters, all of whom are additionally starting Bible studies and literacy training as they go. Thousands of people in Bihar are hearing the gospel for the first time, and each church planter brings the gospel to thousands more.
Advik was first sponsored in September 2016, and has started five Bible studies and one house church. Another church planter, Santhosh, recently held a spiritual awakening seminar with 250 people from 16 different villages in attendance. We are so excited about how God is moving in Bihar, India.
Eradicating poverty is not only important, it is the gospel. We love because God loves us. And one way we can show that love is through working to alleviate poverty.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16 ESV).
We are called to use what we have to bless others. And it’s not always about money. If you have a little time to give, consider volunteering for an organization that works to alleviate poverty. If you have an extra coat, consider donating it. One small action can be a huge blessing to someone else. Don’t be afraid to do small things and big things to fight poverty. Just remember this: nothing will change if you do nothing at all.
You can alleviate poverty and bring hope to people in so many ways, and we encourage you to be praying about where you can start.
Jesus' Economy sponsored church planter Advik is bringing the gospel to unreached people groups in Bihar, India. He was first sponsored in September 2016 and since that time his ministry has grown rapidly.
When Advik first arrived in the village he is serving in, he found that the people desperately needed clean water. Thus Jesus' Economy sponsored a water well. This well has given people access to clean, safe drinking water. The well helps show people in the village Jesus' love. Because Advik advocated for clean water for the village, people are more than willing to listen to and trust him.
Advik has been successful in starting five Bible study groups and one house church. There are 18 villagers regularly attending the house church. People who had previously never heard of Jesus are hearing Advik tell the biblical story every week.
Due to Advik's ministry, over 40 people have trusted in Jesus. In addition, three people have taken the beautiful step of being publicly baptized and three others have expressed the desire to be baptized.
It is Advik's hope that as time goes on, he will reach more and more villages thereby providing access to the gospel to thousands of people. With the amount of people living in each village (often 1,000 to 2,000 people per village) this goal is certainly possible.
Support Advik in his work to bring the word of God to those who have never heard it before.
Simply put, the Jesus' Economy financial model is 100% to the Developing World. Every single dollar you donate goes exactly where you designate. For example, if you give $100 to planting churches in India, your full $100 goes to India and will be used only for planting churches. We raise our U.S. costs separately from developing world projects. We then go one step further by being completely financially transparent. We even prove our 100% model via grant receipts and field reports.
Here are the details of the third installment of our grant to our partner in Northeast India for our Renew Bihar, India project.
This grant was issued to our partner in Northeast India, Transformation India Movement. In everything we do, partnership is the key and Transformation India Movement has allowed for us to execute our work in India through indigenous leaders. Our work in India is led by, ran by, and executed by people from India.
The third installment of our grant for the Renew Bihar, India project was issued in the amount of $11,062.40. This grant covered the costs of:
We have already issued the field reports related to this grant. View the church planting field reports here. The administrative support per planter, detailed above, helps cover the costs of our partner in India generating the initial versions of these reports. It also allows for our partner to visit each church planter and offer them ongoing mentorship, accountability, and training. Furthermore, it allows for our partner to facilitate everything organizationally needed for a church planting effort, such as bookkeeping and issuing paychecks and reimbursements.
Thank you to each of you who have supported the Renew Bihar, India project. You have made this possible.
Santhosh, one of our church planters in Bihar, India, recently held a spiritual awakening seminar for 250 people from 16 different villages in the region. The theme for the one day seminar was drawn from John 17:3, "Know Christ and Make Him Known."
Santhosh worked with five other leaders that he trained to organize the different parts of the event.
This is the first time any of these villages were able to not only attend but host a seminar like this; it has never been done before in this area of Northern India. So many people were excited about it that six people were baptized the day before so they could attend the seminar as newly baptized believers.
It wasn't just the attendees who were excited either, leaders and the regional coordinator were excited too. When something like this comes together and actually happens in an area where a year or so ago, the idea of it ever happening was a pipe dream, the excitment is palbable.
The excitement came with good reason as dozens of people made commitments to follow Jesus and better their lives.
In addition to the six people being baptized, during the seminar, 10 people expressed a desire to be baptized and 22 people decided to believe in Jesus. Santhosh said that the seminar was a great motivator for villagers to know Jesus more closely and really made them excited to provide access to the gospel throughout the region. There is a renewed desire to expand the ministry even further than before.
The renewal seminar greatly affected young people as well: 12 of them decided to take part in the discipleship training offered and 10 young women enrolled in an empowering women tailoring program, to learn marketable business skills.
Because of this one day event, the local ministry has been greatly strengthened and hope is exceedingly abundant among villagers. Because of what one of the region's leaders shared from John 17 about knowing Jesus better, several people experienced God's presence and were inspired.
From the seminar, the believers who attended came away more rooted in their faith and better equipped to talk about Jesus. They also witnessed the healing power of Jesus.
Two women who attended the event had been living with severe pain from illnesses. They experienced healing during the seminar. More and more healing is being brought to the region as Santhosh continues to work at spreading the peace of knowing Jesus.
Support Santhosh in his efforts to strengthen the local leadership and community in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Every choice we make has an impact that ripples out farther. As we fight to alleviate global poverty, we are reminded of the chain that is created when we help just one person.
Through the Empowering Women program in Bihar, India, 40 women will receive business training so they can turn their existing struggling businesses into thriving businesses that sell products internationally.
But it doesn’t stop there. Each of those 40 women has a family. She probably has at least two children. When her business flourishes, she is able to provide for her family. She will be able to afford for her children to go to school. Her children will gain an education, become literate, and have a better future. These children will go on to have kids who will also be able to attend school; and the financial stability ripples onward.
No one action is isolated. If one woman is funded to go through the training program, she lifts her entire family out of poverty, and creates a stable foundation for all her descendants to come.
The training helps the individuals and the families, but also the community. As the financial state of families improves through the success of the businesses, Bihar will also obtain increasing economic strength. When the businesses start selling their products internationally, a door is opened for more money flow in Bihar. Today, the businesses are only selling to local people; money doesn’t leave the villages, and money doesn’t come in. It's essentially trading hands over and over again. But in the future, opportunities for ecommerce will improve the economy on a larger scale, thus helping lift the entire community out of poverty, too.
Ending poverty isn’t an overnight thing. It’s going to take time, but we have to start somewhere. Let’s start with the 40 women and their families.
So far, we have raised $4,685. The entire program costs $23,000. Let’s do the math. If each of the 40 women are supporting two other people, that means 120 people will be directly lifted out of poverty through the program. This means it takes $190 to lift a person out of poverty, or $575 to empower a woman to lift her whole family out of poverty. That’s a small amount of money when you think about the immeasurable impact it will have.
We still need to raise $18,315. If 100 people donated just $10, we’d be $1,000 closer to our goal. Want to help us get there?
By partnering with us, you can empower a woman in Bihar, India to change the cycle of poverty for the future of her family. Be a part of this change and consider giving financially today.
100 percent of your donations go directly to India to support job creation efforts.
Jesus' Economy is transforming lives and empowering women in Bihar, India. In a state where millions live in extreme poverty, it can seem impossible to have hope. But the people of Bihar are strong and resilient and we are coming alongside them as they lift their families and community out of poverty.
Bihar, India has a population of nearly 104 Million. More than 54 Million of those people live in extreme poverty. Most of their food sources are dependent on the weather, which during monsoon season often means few crops.
These families do not have enough money to provide for themselves on a basic level, and this makes for very poor living conditions.
Bihar has a women empowerment measure of .379, ranking among the top 10 worst in the world. In this state, a large percentage of the women are illiterate and jobless, and have no means to help themselves. But with our church planters providing literacy training, they have a chance at a new life.
Many women and children spend their days walking miles to collect drinkable water. By the time they've gathered this necessity, there isn't much time left in the day for work or an education, and the cycle of poverty continues.
To help meet the basic need of clean and safe water, Jesus' Economy has funded the drilling of four water wells. Now thousands of people have access to good water; women are able to work, and children are able to go to school.
We have also funded four church planters. These pastors are actively sharing the gospel with hundreds of people throughout the new home churches and bringing peace to these people and their villages.
With the physical and spiritual needs being met, Jesus' Economy is now focused on long-term sustainability. Forty women in Bihar will be trained to run their own businesses so they can lift their families out of poverty.
As part of the empowering women program, women learn the trade of creating high-quality, handmade clothing, as well as business skills and employer (fair trade) ethics.
The women will become successful businesswomen, thus able to support their families financially, and the cycle of poverty will be disrupted. Their incomes will allow for physical sustenance, and also for the opportunity for their children to go to school regularly.
The women of Bihar, India are immeasurably strong and full of hope for a better future.
Donate to the Empowering Women Program and help end poverty in Bihar.
When our CEO, John D. Barry, traveled to Bihar, India, he met women who inspired him to start our empowering women program.
The women he met were resourceful, strong, spirited, joyful, and full of hope. He witnessed their hope through trials and wanted to do something to empower them even further. Women in Bihar spend their days working hard to provide for their families but when the day comes to a close, it's still not enough.
They walk miles to get to the nearest water well for clean water and by the time they get back home, there's barely enough time left in the day to purchase what little produce they can afford, make meals with rationing in mind, wash clothing by hand, and take care of their children. And yet, they keep going. Day after day. And still they find ways to smile. They have learned how to be content no matter their situation.
One woman spoke to John about her hardships. She said, "I can now afford to keep my kids in school, but keeping food on their plates often feels impossible. I am constantly facing the decision of whether to eat or pay for school supplies or clothing for my children. Will you pray for me and my children?" She could pay for her kids to go to school through her sewing work, which she learned via a non-profit sewing school, but her business needed a boost.
This woman worked hard but still couldn't provide the basic needs for her family. But here she was, thankful that she could keep her kids in school and asking John to pray for her because she believed there was a way. She believed that some day she wouldn't have to constantly worry about meeting their basic needs. She had hope.
Help us bring hope to more women in Bihar, India by donating to our empowering women program and see a community transformed.
Any skill has less value if it is not paired with practical application. At Jesus’ Economy, we recognize this, and we work to put practicality into action as we alleviate poverty.
As part of our Renew Bihar, India project, we are raising funds to train women in tailoring and business so they will become equipped to more successfully run their own businesses. This is part of the empowering women program.
A trainer will teach 40 women how to expand their business in a one-week training session on product development, employee management, accounting, and business ethics. After that training is complete, another trainer will offer two weeks of hands-on product development training and further business ethics. The product development trainer will then be available for the following 10 weeks to offer free consulting to the women.
These business skills will need practical application. This will come as a platform for business in a western market. Rather than teach the women of Bihar useful skills and then step out of the picture, Jesus’ Economy is dedicated to working alongside them and helping their businesses flourish.
After the training, the women will be eligible for a microloan from Jesus’ Economy to purchase supplies for their expanding businesses. The microloan fund will cover up to 20 women, anticipating that only 50 percent of the women in the program will also choose to receive the microloan. A microloan from Jesus’ Economy will help a woman purchase supplies for her expanding business.
After all the women—not just the ones who choose the microloan—are trained and have a year to create products, Jesus’ Economy will purchase the goods and sell them in our online fair trade shop. The fair trade shop will provide a large customer base for these businesses, and having these products in one market will increase the buying power of the customer base. We will provide a western market connection, and their businesses will continue to grow. The growth of businesses means more jobs, and more jobs means more connections. Combining business training with e commerce creates a cycle of success and empowerment rather than one of poverty and hardship.
Jesus’ Economy is changing the economic paradigm by becoming the guaranteed buyer of the products and selling them online. The women will have moved from being tailors and seamstresses to running a full company that sells products internationally. Bringing business training and e commerce together to alleviate poverty.
Jesus’ Economy has a heart for alleviating poverty through fair trade. Our empowering women program will help women in Bihar, India financially support their families and break the cycle of poverty. Join us in the movement!
You might ask yourself, why microloans? Why not just give the women the money for their business straight up and walk away without expecting anything back?
We offer microloans because it helps someone's business become self-sustaining rather quickly. It also gives the business owner the pride that their business is their own and a product of their hard work; as they'll have to eventually pay back their loan. They'll retain a sense of accomplishment. We don't offer a handout; we offer to help women grow their businesses.
Not all the women who've completed our business training program will accept the microloan from Jesus' Economy, but the ones who do will receive up to $500 and have the funds they need to purchase supplies or equipment for their growing business. (And $500 goes a long way in Bihar, India.)
Our microloans are different than typical. We don't just offer a loan, we create economic opportunity. We buy products from the women and sell them on a larger scale than just the local impoverished economy. (This also helps the women repay the loan quickly.)
The women we work with will sell locally and Jesus' Economy will buy some of their products at a fair price and sell them in our fair trade store internationally. This opens up their business to a whole new market, increasing their customer base and helping lift the entire community out of poverty. The commerce isn't limited to their community.
With Jesus' Economy, women are able to create jobs for other people as their business scales. The local economy is renewed with the help of the global marketplace. We connect artisans to global commerce. It's microfinance meets e-commerce.
No struggle a person faces is completely isolated. Each struggle is caused by deeper problems, and it can be very difficult to break the cycle. As we work together to alleviate global poverty, we must do more than address one issue.
In Bihar, India, a state with millions living in extreme poverty, fresh water is hard to come by. Women and children spend hours every day walking miles to collect safe drinking water in order to survive. This means those women can’t work and the children can’t go to school, because they don’t have time. And the cycle of poverty continues.
Jesus’ Economy is dedicated to restoring Bihar, India through several programs. We have a program to drill water wells so the women and children can save time and energy every day, a program to plant churches that will meet the spiritual needs of the communities, and a program to empower women—teaching women marketable skills in tailoring and business so they can sustainably support themselves and their families. These programs work together to create long-term solutions for deep-seated struggles.
The poverty in Bihar is intense, and caused by many factors. If we simply provided the water wells and stepped away, the poverty would still exist. Safe water would be more accessible, but women would remain unemployed and families could still not afford to send their children to school.
If we simply planted churches, but didn’t address the physical needs of the people of Bihar, we would be denying the message of the gospel, and people would continue the cycle of physical poverty. James urges believers to put faith into action; to be doers and not only hearers:
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27 ESV)
It is important that we meet the physical and spiritual needs of people in poverty. We can do these things, but we can take it even further by creating jobs to keep the cycle going. We don’t want to provide aid and then step away; we want to walk alongside our brothers and sisters around the world and teach them sustainable ways to provide for themselves.
This is a way we can show love to hurting people. This is the power of the gospel. We get to display the love of God in Bihar, India, and that’s pretty awesome.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18 ESV)