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As a father of 10 children and an owner of two businesses in Strășeni, Moldova, it would be easy for Pavel Nichita to feel overextended. A chronic illness confines his wife to bed, and his youngest son lives with a life-altering disability, increasing the demands on Pavel’s time and energy. But to those who know him, Pavel exudes peace and joy. Indeed, he claims, “I am the happiest person alive.”

Yet, Pavel is also familiar with sorrow and struggle. But because of his close relationship with the Lord, he knows God’s mercy and love.

It is through truly knowing God alone that we can endure all hardships.”

Most Moldovan families are small (with a nationwide average household size of just 2.2, according to the Population Reference Bureau), and many Moldovan fathers work outside the country to support their families. In both respects, Pavel considers himself uniquely blessed.

It isn’t easy to provide for a large family, and small loans from Invest Credit, HOPE’s partner in Moldova, have eased the strain by allowing Pavel to make timely investments in both his farming and car repair businesses.

Pavel can only farm when the weather is warm, but with his first loan in 2010 he invested in greenhouse components to extend his growing season. Additional loans helped him repair an old combine for harvesting crops and build a garage in which to repair cars.

These opportunities, too, he sees as gifts from God. Pavel says that his relationship with Invest Credit has helped him learn more about God’s love and see that “He often helps us through other good people, no matter what circumstances we are in.”

Pavel’s circumstances became increasingly difficult during the pandemic. His car repair shop saw no customers. Because of lockdowns, he couldn’t fulfill his passion of traveling to nearby villages to share the Gospel. And many members of his family became ill.

Invest Credit granted Pavel a three-month stay on loan repayments, allowing him time to adjust to changing realities without the pressure of imminent payments.

With the extra time, Pavel was able to better manage his finances and maintain his strong credit history. Even when Pavel wasn’t actively making payments on his loan, his loan officer continued to visit and offer encouragement. Invest Credit staff prayed over Pavel and his family—and Pavel, in turn, prayed for Invest Credit and the expansion of their mission in Moldova.

Around the HOPE-network, incredible men and women are leveraging Christ-centered financial services to invest in their dreams for themselves and their communities. Watch Marcel and Jeanne’s story and see how a $48 loan launched a small business empire and created 41 jobs for their community in Rwanda.  

If given the opportunity, 50% of Moldovans would leave their country to work abroad.

And many have left. Moldova’s emigration rate is the eleventh highest worldwide. Since the 1990s, a shortage of stable jobs has led thousands to move abroad in search of work, and this trend continues today: Between 2000 and 2014, the number of people who traveled abroad to find work grew from 138,000 to 341,900—a 147% increase.

To keep Moldovan workers close to home, stable jobs are critical. And for a developing economy like Moldova’s, small-and-medium-enterprises (SMEs) fill this employment gap, with 63% of employable Moldovans working for an SME. As these businesses grow, the economy adds more local jobs—and fewer people must leave their families and communities.

Yet, credit barriers prevent many small businesses with the potential to provide much-needed jobs from expanding their businesses further. That’s why Invest Credit, HOPE’s microfinance partner in Moldova, equips entrepreneurs with larger loans to help them scale their operations and reach their potential. As these two stories demonstrate, entrepreneurs like Petrov and Sergiu are tackling the challenges of poverty in their communities. Continue Reading…

Each year, HOPE celebrates clients who demonstrate our values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing the Thurman Award winner. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of Sixbert, this year’s runner up for savings group programs!

Living on just $60 each month, Sixbert Nteziryayo struggled to afford rent and other basic needs for his family. After getting behind and missing several rent payments in a row, Sixbert, his wife, and their seven children were evicted from their home in Rwanda. Needing to provide shelter for his family, Sixbert faced the challenge of finding a new way to generate income. Continue Reading…

Around the world, HOPE-network clients are accessing financial services to grow their businesses. Join us in celebrating the ways these hardworking men and women are using their gifts, abilities, and creativity to support their families and impact their communities.
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Jacob and his wife

Each year, we celebrate clients who demonstrate HOPE’s values of perseverance, compassion, character, and creativity by announcing Thurman Award winners. Established in honor of HOPE’s first CEO and his wife, the Thurman Award celebrates clients who have not only experienced change in their own lives but have also extended that transformation to others in their community. We’re excited to share the story of this year’s honorable mention from Eastern Europe: Jacob Timos.

Over 10 years ago, Jacob Timos used his first loan from HOPE’s partner in Moldova, Invest-Credit, to open a rabbit-breeding business. He started with just six rabbits, and with additional support from Invest-Credit, he has significantly grown the business, selling rabbits to customers as far away as Germany.

Recently, Jacob bought more land and started growing raspberries in partnership with another Invest-Credit client. He says, “Without loans from Invest-Credit I wouldn’t have been able to start my business and grow to the level where I am now.” Jacob has referred over 200 clients to Invest-Credit! Operating a sustainable business in an area where many struggle to make ends meet, Jacob is an inspiration to his neighbors, who often ask him for insights on good business development. To help others provide for their families, Jacob has given away rabbits so that they can start their own rabbit-breeding businesses.

As a pastor, Jacob is passionate about seeing Christians in his community reflect the Gospel in their work, saying, “So many believers run businesses here, create jobs for others, and provide services. … Pray that people will turn to God here in Straseni. … That they would come to faith and know Jesus. That is the most important thing. ”

Jean

After her husband died nearly 10 years ago, Jean began growing and selling assorted vegetables to provide for her seven children. In Malawi, where 88 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, Jean often struggled to put food on the table or pay school fees.

When Jean’s church began training groups of people to save money together, she became one of the founding members of Chivumbulutso, meaning “Revelation,” savings group. A proud pioneer of this ministry, Jean describes the financial and spiritual transformation she has experienced: “I became a Christian a long time ago and have been reading the Bible since my youth days, but it had never occurred to me that the Scripture can help me on financial matters.”

Prior to joining the savings group, Jean struggled to manage her finances, remaining in constant debt. Now, saving approximately $2 each week, she owns a piece of land for farming and has hired several workers. Jean dreams of growing her business and opening a grocery store.

Her spiritual life has also flourished through prayer and meditation on the Word of God. “My knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures as the living Word of God speaking directly to me has increased greatly through the sharing of the Word and experiences which we have at our group every time we meet,” Jean explains. Now, she views communication with God as a two-way street, saying, “God speaks directly to me through His Word while I speak directly to Him through prayer.”

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