Planting 'New Flowers' in Ethiopia

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
— PROVERBS 3:5-6

One of the things I love most about TOLI is that it's an organization that deeply desires to move in step with the Lord and in sync with His Spirit. We may not always understand God's ways, but he promises if we trust in him he will make our paths straight. We will sense his lead and know which way to go, one step at a time.

And that is precisely where TOLI is today, as we sense him directing our steps to expand to Ethiopia. It would take hours to describe all the ways God has connected us with this beautiful, ancient country, but rest assured the whole story leaves us in awe.

In two weeks, I will travel to Addis Ababa — along with five other TOLI leaders — to help begin a new partnership with a powerful 'boots on the ground' ministry there. Like all of our partner ministries, this one is passionate about serving widows and their families, believing each one is made in the image of God to dream, create, and flourish as mothers and as entrepreneurs.

Each microloan given through this partnership will help change a family's story, out of poverty and into dignified work. The best part is, when loans are paid back, they will be reissued to other budding entrepreneurs in the same community, creating a beautiful cycle of opportunity and growth. Seeds that are planted, watered, and cultivated will bloom into brand 'new flowers,' dotting the landscape and fabric of Ethiopia. One loan. One business. One dream at a time.

Thank for you for praying with me for Ethiopia, for TOLI, and for all that will bloom from our partnership ahead.

Megan Nilsen
Associate for Communications, TOLI

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Give to support a specific traveler or the whole team. Funds raised in excess of travel costs will be invested in business training, microloans, and a salary grant for a local, Ethiopian social worker. And please pray for this trip, October 15-23.
THE TEAM: John Jaeger (Board member); Linda Hood (Board member); Erin Eilmes (Staff); Megan Nilsen (Staff); Monet Martin (volunteer); and Steve Hood (volunteer).

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THE LATEST FROM EGYPT:

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TOLI Founder Eddie Yassa has been in Egypt this month visiting clients, overseeing business training in poor communities, and hosting our first TOLI Social Worker Retreat — a powerful time of encouragement, leadership development, and prayer for our six social workers and various partner committees from around the country, as well as key leaders from Heliopolis Evangelical Church in Cairo.  

Please Pray! TOLI is growing in Egypt. Please pray for all the social workers and clients to connect, seek the Lord, and experience His goodness in their businesses.


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Join us First Friday Downtown COS

Come visit Savory Spice Shop and Gold Star Pies and support TOLI at the same time!

Gold Star Pie Truck will serve up fresh award-winning pie in front of Savory Spice Shop, where you can find free hot cider and the tastiest spices in town. Proceeds from the evening will benefit TOLI. Many thanks to these two local small business —Dick and Mary Frieg and Heather Briggs — for their generosity and passion for supporting small businesses in poor communities around the globe.

WHEN: Friday Nov. 1, 5-8pm
WHERE: 110 N. Tejon, COS (in front of Savory Spice Shop)
MORE DETAILS HERE


What I'm learning about leadership

— From our Executive Director — 

Until a couple of years ago, if you mentioned the topic of Leadership to me, it's likely my eyes would’ve glazed over. Who’s got time for such lofty thoughts while you’re elbow-deep in the real world of packing lunchboxes, finding deals on soccer cleats, and minding everyone’s screen time?

Well, things have changed. I’ve changed. I’ve learned Leadership isn’t so lofty. Leadership is as real as the people you’re standing next to, and as down to earth as the tools in your hands. Leadership is influence, and everyone has influence.

TOLI has taught me much of this. Why does TOLI invest in people who seem to have nothing? Because even if you have ‘nothing’ you still have influence. The words you say, the actions you take, the choices you make, the help you share, all impact the world around you. If you are a person, you have influence. That means no one has ‘nothing.’

So while charities see people to be helped, TOLI sees leaders to be built.

Clients who start a small business with a microloan, take business training, and engage in intentional Christian discipleship through TOLI are influencing their communities in ways that will long outlive our program. They are becoming leaders. And that changes everything. For good.

And it’s my honor to introduce you to three of them. These are three women who've taught me more about leadership than any podcast, book, or conference.

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BRENDA was the first TOLI client in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Once a struggling single mom, Brenda now runs a thriving small business. At a recent training, Brenda spoke to a room of 40, including TOLI clients, church leaders from around Nicaragua, and an American team from TOLI. “I want to tell everyone: Let’s learn to give back that little part of all that God gives us,” she said. Brenda is a motivator among the TOLI client community as she inspires, challenges, and brings people together. Brenda is a leader.

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ANN is a grandmother in rural Kenya, who took a TOLI microloan to build her dairy cow business. A loyal member of a community savings group organized by our partner ministry, Comet House, we’ve seen Ann grasp the power of the TOLI program to transform lives. Because of Ann’s hard work and strategic vision, her daughter is now starting college — something Ann says would never have happened before she entered the program. Ann has paid off her loan, but is not done with TOLI. This month, she was selected to join the local TOLI Committee, where she will help recruit and train new clients and savings groups. Ann is a leader.

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SOHER is a mother of two boys living in Garbage Village, a desperately poor area of Cairo, Egypt. Soher took a microloan years ago to buy a machine that recycles plastics and earns her steady income. Soher’s persistence and positivity has inspired many US TOLI Teams that have visited her over the years. And starting this month, she begins working for TOLI as an assistant to our Social Worker in her community, providing spiritual care and counseling of female clients in the area. Soher is a leader.

Brenda, Ann, and Soher are just three, but there are many more leaders being developed right now because of TOLI and our partner ministries. THANK YOU for investing in them by supporting our work. Through them, you are changing more lives than you'll ever know.

With gratitude and joy,

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Abigail McConnell
Executive Director


Q&A with a TOLI Traveler

Randy Scott: "TOLI is the 'real deal.'"

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Sheer curiosity inspired Randy Scott to travel to Nicaragua to see TOLI in action last month. Scott, a longtime nonprofit consultant, successful executive, and most recently, a TOLI supporter, was blown away by the simple effectiveness of the TOLI model. “TOLI is the ‘real deal,'" he says. "It works, and lives are being changed. A mere $300 loan can really change lives and people are coming to Christ because of TOLI’s engagement.”

His biggest takeaway from the trip? “There is no single solution to solving world poverty,” he says. “As Jesus said, the poor will always be with us. It is easy to become overwhelmed by world poverty and do nothing. I think I now see that the ultimate solution is bringing the people to a believing faith in Jesus Christ so that they can enjoy spending eternity with Him where there is no pain, hunger, and worry. In the meantime, if each believer can engage with organizations like TOLI that provide the opportunity to build relationships with those in need so that we can then share Jesus with them, we can and will make a difference.”


Inspired? Take the next step.

> Come to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering on September 10 from 12-1pm at the TOLI office, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.

Be like Randy. Travel with us! Check out our trips coming in 2020. 

Help TOLI change lives by giving today. A simple $300 microloan can truly transform a life — and a family — forever.  



And, finally, give us a follow…


Your grocery run could transform lives.

Here’s one simple life hack that's truly life-changing.


We all do it—constantly running to the grocery store to restock the fridge. Buying groceries is unavoidable, but did you know that you could be providing more TOLI microloans around the world while you do it?  

By simply choosing TOLI as your nonprofit of choice at King Soopers or any Kroger brand store, a percentage of what you spend to feed your household will provide for our clients around the world. And it costs you nothing, besides your normal grocery bill! 

FACT: Last month we received $271 through this program, thanks to just FIVEpeople who have started “shopping for TOLI” since May. That's one microloan! Can you imagine how many more loans we can distribute when others get involved? I can’t go grocery shopping anymore without thinking of our friends and clients around the world.

The program is super simple. You’ll need a SooperCard, which you'll connect to TOLI, and after that, all you do is swipe your card at payment and a percentage goes directly to TOLI.
 

SIGNING UP IS EASY:

1. Go to www.kingsooperscommunityrewards.com
2. Sign into your account or create one. Click Enroll Now.  
3. Click Community Rewards at the bottom of the page. Search for TOLI or Touch of Love International or enter LX852.
4. Click Enroll.

Thanks for 'shopping for TOLI!'

Blessings,
Erin Eilmes
Development Associate

Erin (right) with client Rose (center), who's building a dressmaking business with a $300 TOLI loan.

Erin (right) with client Rose (center), who's building a dressmaking business with a $300 TOLI loan.


"Shopping for TOLI" can help more clients like these:

Amir (above) is an onion and goat farmer; Marian (below) sells shoes. Both built their businesses with the help of $200 TOLI microloans.

Amir (above) is an onion and goat farmer; Marian (below) sells shoes. Both built their businesses with the help of $200 TOLI microloans.

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Pray for our Nicaragua team

Team of 7 traveling today until July 31

HAPPENING TODAY: A TOLI Team arrives in Nicaragua to visit our ministry partner, Verbo Ministry, in Puerto Cabezas. The coming week will be full of client visits as well as partnership training with four other churches in the country. Please pray for our team — Heather Briggs, Linda Hood, John Jaeger, Naomi Jaeger, Abigail McConnell, Megan Nilsen, and Randy Scott — as they serve, learn, and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nicaragua. The team returns on July 31.

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Follow our journey! We'll be posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram from Nicaragua. Make sure you're following us to get the latest updates:


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Creativity rules.

You might think rural Kenya is an unlikely place for innovation. Think again. 

We want to introduce you to a few entrepreneurs we met last month. Their creativity and willingness to think "outside the box" is transforming their lives and their communities. Each of these clients took a TOLI loan of less than $300. That, paired with their resourcefulness, their courageous thinking, and the encouragement of a TOLI social worker, has meant a brand new start.

THANK YOU for helping these amazing entrepreneurs find their purpose and use their God-given talents. 

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REGINA, Tea Sales. Regina's business idea is so simple, but so clever. With just a plastic bag and a candle, Regina has created a tea packaging business that's providing steady income and security for her and her children. She buys high-grade tea in bulk (we tasted it — it's delicious!) and then repackages it into smaller portions. She seals the individual plastic bags with a candle flame so the tea stays fresh, then sells the small portions to clients in her area, including schools and churches. (Click the video above to see how Regina works!) 

 
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LENA, Veterinary Services and Supplies. Lena has loved animals her whole life. And even though it's rare for women here, she has long dreamed of operating a veterinary supplies business. But this spring, with the help of business training and a $300 loan through TOLI, she launched a veterinary services and supplies shop. Her business provides medicine, supplements and vet services for area livestock farmers.  

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LLOYD, Banana Sales. Banana farming is nothing new. But Lloyd's business model is innovative, connecting local small-scale farmers with the larger banana market in Nairobi. Lloyd (shown above on the right) scouts for banana crops from independent subsistence farmers in remote areas, collects them himself, then transports them in bulk to the city every week, where he sells at a premium. Not only has his income sharply increased, his community has benefitted from the market expansion. 

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LUCY, Butcher. When Lucy's husband, a life-long butcher, died a year and a half ago, she was left without an income. Then this spring, her community group introduced her to the TOLI program. Lucy courageously decided to take a microloan and continue her husband's business. Last month, Lucy reopened the butchery, and she now provides fresh meat as well as some of her own special recipes to her community. "Being a butcher is unusual for women here," she told us. "But business is good, and is picking up." 


“ Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”

— 1 Kings 3:12


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When Annie met Rose (top picture), a TOLI client with a dress-making business, she decided she wanted to buy a dress of her own. Rose measured Annie, helped her choose fabrics, and custom-made the dress by the very next day. Annie proudly wore it to worship that Sunday (above)!

When Annie met Rose (top picture), a TOLI client with a dress-making business, she decided she wanted to buy a dress of her own. Rose measured Annie, helped her choose fabrics, and custom-made the dress by the very next day. Annie proudly wore it to worship that Sunday (above)!

Q&A with a TOLI Traveler

Almost 30 years ago, Annie Moore’s father began a ministry serving abandoned boys in the slums of Nairobi. Years later, it was his passion and legacy that sparked Annie's desire to go on a TOLI trip to Kenya. As a former social worker herself, Annie was intrigued by the “transformative shift” microloans can play in breaking the cycle of poverty. We asked her to share a few thoughts about this life-changing journey to Kenya with TOLI last month.

TOLI: Describe an encounter with a TOLI client that impacted you deeply: 

ANNIE: We met a woman whose business involved traveling from Kenya to Uganda to buy fabrics and selling them for a profit to dressmakers and other people through word of mouth. She seemed to be doing quite well and had plans of expanding her business, but what really struck me about her is the daughter she "adopted" (whom she saw had no parents) who now lives with her. The daughter is also taking a microloan to make and sell soaps. This daughter sends some of her money back to a brother suffering from some ailment for medication. Seeing generosity giving way to generosity was inspiring.

TOLI: How did you see God at work through TOLI? 

ANNIE: God was at work in the TOLI social workers as they were facilitating groups, working alongside of individuals, giving their very lives away with loads of joy and passion in the work they were doing. Observers, Teachers, Encouragers, Listeners, Supporters, Advisors, Travelers, God is using so many facets of these social workers!

TOLI: What would you like others to know about TOLI? 

ANNIE: The TOLI staff does an exquisite job of carrying out the business of getting microloans to people and pursuing growth, while simultaneously reassuring individuals that TOLI exists not primarily for the repayment of money, but most importantly, for the worth and value God sees in each and every person.


Inspired? Jump in. 

> Be like Annie. Travel with us! Check out our trips coming in 2020. 
> Come to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering on July 9 from 12-1pm at the TOLI office, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.

> Help more entrepreneurs find their purpose, gifts, and ability to care for the families and communities by giving today. A simple $300 microloan can truly transform a life — and a family — forever.  

Fulfilled.

The 7-minute film that proves no one — and no where — is beyond hope


There’s one thing we all can agree on: The world is not as it should be.

There's too much hunger. There's not enough peace. We see justice fail, families fracture, isolation increase. The world’s problems are too big, and there’s no hope in sight.

... Right?

Well, not from where we sit. We’ve seen all these problems and more — and we’ve also seen them overcome, one family at a time, one community at a time. It can happen. It IS happening. Right now.

And we want to tell the story.

A year and a half ago, we set out to tell this story of transformation — not just of one person, but of a whole village. A village that experienced profound change over the course of a dozen years: from despair to dreaming, from oppression to opportunity, from languishing to new life. This story deserves a movie, we thought. What better story is there to tell?

Our brand new short film, Fulfilled, does just that. It tells the story of the village of El Kom al-Akhdar, Egypt, through the eyes and experience of a brave young mother named Raouth. It’s her story, it’s El Kom al-Akhdar’s story, and, yes, it’s TOLI’s story.

But ultimately, it’s Jesus’s story.

Only Jesus can fulfill what’s missing, bruised, or broken in our world. But sometimes it takes one person’s story to reveal it.


WATCH FULFILLED NOW:

“It was then that I understood that God can hear and see me. He feels for me. He fulfilled my desires..."

— RAOUTH, FULFILLED


Celebrating one amazing night

This month, 216 new and old friends of TOLI gathered for "Come to the Table: A Night of Story, Hope and Transformation” — and what an incredible night it was. We are thrilled to share that $70,000 was raised to support TOLI’s mission! We're humbled and grateful beyond words. But the night was so much more than a fundraiser...

> Every table in the packed house engaged with a different client around the world through an interactive experience, culminating in texted video greetings from the clients themselves. Guests left carrying with them the personal and profound experiences of these amazing clients.

> Our Silent Auction was a beautiful marketplace where guests could touch and see and feel (and buy!) products made by gifted TOLI clients.

> We heard inspiring messages from staff and board members, watched the premiere of our new short film, Fulfilled, and were moved to tears by a live version of the song “Come to the Table” by talented musician and friend of TOLI, Chris Cullins.

Thank you for joining us in what God is doing through TOLI around the world. What an adventure we’re on together!


What we’re praying for now

KENYA BOUND. Pray for our team headed to Kenya (May 25-June 7). This team of six — made up of staff, board members, and volunteers — will be visiting clients, meeting with ministry partners, facilitating training, and evaluating a possible NEW site.

EGYPT EXPANSION. Pray for our continued growth in Egypt, where we are training two new social workers and in the process of establishing THREE new sites.

NICARAGUAN PARTNERS. Pray for our partners in Nicaragua who continue to bear the burden of political unrest and economic volatility. Despite the challenges, we continue to invest by faith there, continuing to grant loans and build our network of partners.


“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

— JOHN 16:33


Ready to join us?

> Come to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering: June 11 from 12-1pm (at TOLI, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918)
> Become a monthly giver. Start here.
> Discover other ways to get involved here.

Watch Noshy (and God) at work


from our Executive Director


Noshy is a rug maker. 

His workroom feels like an artist's studio: bleached stone walls, lofty timber ceiling, art hanging up high. The narrow space is ringed with sacks of wool, coils of yarn, and scraps of paper designs. And at the far end is a wooden loom — the place where Noshy has woven together a life that's seen both plenty and want.

I visited Noshy on a breezy day in September, along with a few American volunteers and some local leaders from the village. We stepped inside through the shade of the date palms that edge this little village in Upper Egypt.

No sooner did Noshy welcome us in than he disappeared again through a side door.

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We had come to learn about his livelihood, built with help of a few TOLI microloans. Noshy's village was a hard place to make a living, especially with four growing boys to raise. But Noshy had a craft, and after he took his first TOLI microloan of just $200 to invest in wool and equipment, he was able to provide for his family.

Noshy appeared again, now carrying trays piled with peanuts and 10 glasses of orange soda for us. We politely declined — he insisted.

We sat on benches cracking peanuts and listened to Noshy tell us about his rug business, which he's now got down to a science: He buys the wool and ships it to the south part of the country to be spun into yarn and dyed. In all, it takes three months to get the wool, send it away, and wait for it to come back. Then it takes him just two days to weave a rug.

Waiting and weaving. Weaving and waiting.

Noshy's work depends on both.

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But that's true for all of us, isn't it?

In work, and in life, we wait — for the job offer, the proposal, a pregnancy. For the diagnosis, a cure, some clarity.

And we weave — an education into a career, our skills into a livelihood, our resources into security.

And while some weaving and waiting are ours to do, most of it is God's.

If we pay attention, we see that it's him doing the weaving. Weaving our friendships into community, our gifts into a ministry, our people into his church. He takes the raw materials of our lives, rough and unshaped, and crafts something beautiful and useful and good. 

And he waits. Our gentle and loving God waits patiently for us — waits for us to say yes to him, waits quietly for us to draw near to him, waits confidently for us to open the door he's been knocking on all along (Revelation 3:20).

He knows that in this life we're never a finished product, that we're always becoming something. So God waits, and he weaves, so that we may become ... His.

Because His is who he made us to be.  

When the orange soda was gone and peanuts were eaten, we stood to say goodbye and pray with Noshy. In a circle, we gave thanks to the Lord for this man and his family, for how he was able to educate all four of his now-grown sons. We gave thanks for the work of his hands, the ministry of his gifts, and the community he quietly blesses.

And for those peanuts. We gave thanks for those peanuts.

With gratitude and joy, 

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 — YOU CAN BUY A NOSHY RUG —

Coming to our May 9th Event? You can bid on the rug shown above — as well as other products made by TOLI clients— at our Silent Auction.


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take the next step

> Come to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering: May 14 from 12-1pm (at TOLI, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918)
> Become a monthly giver. Start here.
> Discover other ways to get involved here.


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Sister power.

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Silhan and Shirley are sisters — but they're also business partners. 

In fact, these two are now the backbone of a family business that stretches three generations. Silhan, 22, took a TOLI microloan last year to buy inventory for their small shop in rural Nicaragua. When our team visited earlier this month, it became clear this is a family affair.

Shirley, 23, is Silhan's gregarious partner. Her dad takes turns manning the counter. Her mom makes fresh nacatamales to sell in the shop. And her 105-year-old grandfather welcomes customers from the porch. 

"The purpose of our family is to be united always," Shirley told us. "It is a very unique opportunity for all of us."

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GENERATIONS:    Above, Shirley sits with her grandfather (center) and her father in front of their family store in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Below, Silhan and her son welcome Executive Director, Abigail McConnell, into her shop, built with the help of a TOLI microloan.

GENERATIONS: Above, Shirley sits with her grandfather (center) and her father in front of their family store in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Below, Silhan and her son welcome Executive Director, Abigail McConnell, into her shop, built with the help of a TOLI microloan.

And it was a good reminder that while TOLI microloans are granted to individuals, the whole household is impacted. In the sisters' case, that's 10 people under one roof — all living in the family home attached to the back of the shop.

The average household size for our clients in Nicaragua is 5.6 people (compared with 2.6 in the U.S.). That means that a $300 microloan doesn't just benefit one person but many more, and builds over time. Silhan and Shirley's children and younger siblings will have better nutrition as they grow because of the steadier income. Their parents and grandfather will have better medical care as they age. And Silhan and Shirley will build confidence, experience, and faith, as they make their household even stronger.

And strong households make strong communities. 

"I want to thank God for the opportunity he has given us to start this business," she told us before we said goodbye. "It's an achievement that is difficult but not impossible. Thank you so much for supporting us."


Snapshots from our recent visit

A team of eight traveled this month to visit our partner site in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. We left inspired, humbled, encouraged, and better able to pray for and serve our local partner ministry, Verbo Church. Ready to travel with us? Check out trip opportunities here.


How you can pray: 


> For Nicaragua: The country has been in turmoil since anti-government rallies erupted last spring. Please pray for reconciliation and peace, and for our clients to be able to overcome the economic challenges that come with this period of instability.
> For physical healing: We visited many clients and their families in Nicaragua this month, and almost everywhere we went we were led to pray for physical healing... for a client's son with cerebral palsy, a client paralyzed after a stray bullet hit his spine, for a client with heart problems. We continue to pray for healing and for improved access to medical care.
> For Verbo Church, our partner ministry in Puerto Cabezas. 
> For our social workers in Egypt, Kenya, and Nicaragua, as they serve, disciple, and encourage our entrepreneurs. You can meet them here.
> Praise God for our growing programs! Many new groups are being trained in Kenya and new sites are being formed in Egypt. 


Ready to take the next step?


> Travel with us. Meet inspiring clients like Silhan and Shirley in person. Details here.
> Become a monthly giver! Start here.
> Discover other ways to get involved here.
> Come 
to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering: April 9 from 12-1pm (at TOLI, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918)

New purpose, new leaders, new life

IN PICTURES: Look at what's new around the TOLI family


February was a busy month of new starts for our entrepreneurs and partners. From new clients to new learning opportunities to new savings groups, the TOLI family is on the move: learning, building, and influencing their communities to break the cycle of poverty, for good.  Here's a show-and-tell of just a few:  

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NEW PURPOSE: Candida, shown here with her three boys, took a $300 TOLI microloan to start a small pedicure business in Nicaragua. This month she told us she discovered the value of servanthood in her work because "I remember Jesus cleaning the feet of his disciples ... that makes me identify with him. That's tremendous." Candida's humble heart, creativity, and determination has paid off. She is now providing for her family independently and will pay off her loan next month. Way to go Candida!

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NEW COMMUNITY: If you came to last month's Prayer Gathering you already heard that our program in Kenya is multiplying. Here's a new Savings Group being assembled in the community of Kirubia, one of three new TOLI groups birthed this month. These groups will save together, learn business skills together, and be launchpads for our next round of microloan clients in Kenya. Shown here is Humphrey Kanga, founder and CEO of our partner ministry KCK, addressing the group.

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NEW LEADERS: A group of TOLI entrepreneurs in Nicaragua and TOLI Social Workers in Egypt were invited to attend the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in February — a world-class conference equipping leaders worldwide — hosted by our partner ministries. Kudos to our partners VERBO Ministries in Nicaragua and Heliopolis Evangelical Church in Egypt for investing in these new leaders and believing with us that everyone has influence. 


Get your tickets to Come to the Table

Thursday, May 9 at 6pm at the Pinery, Colorado Springs

If you've ever wanted to share TOLI with a friend, or learn more about our work, this night is for you. You'll witness through the eyes of our clients how TOLI is helping families break the cycle of poverty and experience the love of Christ. It'll be a memorable, inspiring, and fun night. Don't miss it.

CLICK HERE (or on the image above) for details, to buy tickets, or to sponsor a table! Reserve early, seats are limited. 


Our Annual Report is in

Want a quick overview at what God did in and through TOLI in 2018? Check out our Annual Report, find it here, or just click the image. 


Time for you to jump in?

> Come to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering: March 12 from 12-1pm (at TOLI, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918)
> Get your tickets: May 9, 2019 for "Come to the Table" at the Pinery
> Become a monthly giver! Start here.
> Discover other ways to get involved here


The tools for a new start

Helping men build stronger families

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"Does TOLI only serve women?"

It's a question we get a lot. And yes, women do make up more than three-quarters of our clients. But when we can reach men in the communities where we work, it's incredibly impactful. Empowering husbands, fathers, and grandfathers is a powerful way to bring transformation to a community. 

Take Aziz as an example. Aziz was trained as a plumber but didn't get much work because he lacked the proper tools. He had little income and little hope. 

Then, nine months ago, Aziz took a TOLI loan of about $200 to buy the right tools and equipment. With his new tools, his plumbing skills, and the coaching of a TOLI social worker, Aziz now has burgeoning business. Jobs that used to take him three days now take only one. Today, he's able to work for himself, land bigger jobs, and increase his customer base as well as his income. 

Aziz isn't just building a business—he's building a family. Just a few months ago, because of his increased income, he told us, he was able to get married. He and his wife are now building a strong start to their household—thanks to Aziz's hard work, determination, and a TOLI microloan. 


Save the date: Come to the Table

Thursday, May 9 at 6pm at the Pinery, Colorado Springs

If you've ever wanted to share TOLI with a friend, or learn more about our work, this night is for you. You'll witness through the eyes of our clients how TOLI is helping families break the cycle of poverty and experience the love of Christ. It'll be a memorable, inspiring, and fun night. Don't miss it.

CLICK HERE (or on the image below) for details, to buy tickets, or to sponsor a table! Reserve early, seats are limited. 


Strength in numbers—THANK YOU.

Your strong support in 2018 helped TOLI empower more husbands like Aziz (above). In fact, we impacted more families and resourced more partner ministries last year than ever before. Better yet, your generous support helped us start 2019 in a place of strength, ready for the ambitious plans God has put before us. 

Would you consider giving monthly this year? Choosing automatic monthly giving is a budget-friendly but powerful way to sustain TOLI all year long. Even small monthly gifts of $20, $30 or $50 add up to deeply impactful support. Click DONATE and choose "Monthly." Credit card or automatic bank transactions available.


The gift of 'WITH'

From our Executive Director


Stella grabbed my hand and led me down the red dirt road. She wanted to take me to her house — a tidy one-room flat she shares with her young son. Inside she showed me pictures of her siblings, the clothing inventory for her new business, and the journal she uses to record her monthly savings. We sat on her bed, and she shared with me her hopes, her struggles, and her dreams.  

We were new friends. I didn’t deserve to be taken by the hand and welcomed into her story like that. Being with Stella inside her home, inside her heart, felt like a gift.

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"Being able to provide for my family is the greatest joy I have," Stella told us this month. Pictured above, Stella and Abigail together in March 2018.

Turns out, it’s a gift I would receive again and again this year, as countless TOLI clients welcomed me in — to be with them in their homes, their businesses, their stories. This gift of WITH has been my favorite gift this year.

It’s this same gift of WITH that God gives us all at Christmas. The gift of Jesus, Emmanuel, "God with us." God gave us the gift of his son Jesus to be our rescue, to restore creation, and to reclaim us as the people he created us to be, by first coming to be with us.

That’s why WITH is essential to TOLI's mission. We come alongside people in vulnerable parts of the world, and work with them as they pursue God’s purpose, their own creative capacity, and their dreams for their communities.

In 2018, TOLI has grown in extraordinary ways:

  • partnering with 12 different local organizations around the world to bring microloans and the Gospel to more people and places than ever before

  • working with more than 550 clients this year—a 30% increase since January

  • our social workers walking with each client for at least 18 months, building relationships and opportunities to share Christ's love

  • gathering with each other on #TOLITuesday to pray monthly over the ministry, our staff, and our clients

God didn’t have to come be with us to save us—He could have done it from afar. He could have just done it for us. But he didn’t. He came in the flesh, through his own sacrifice, to be with us. Why?

Because God loves us. Because our rescue wasn’t just a job to do, but a love to share. Because you can’t have love if there is no with. That’s what I've learned this year. That’s what TOLI’s mission is all about. And that’s what we remember every Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who longs to grab each one of us by the hand to welcome us into His home, His heart, and—if we let him—even into His story.

With gratitude and joy, 

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Thank you for standing with us.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and generosity. Without you, Stella may not be where she is today: successfully providing for her son and siblings, discovering her God-given gifts, and growing in faith. There's still time to join in His work this year. Give a year-end gift and help us start 2019 in strength, together. 


Want to go deeper with TOLI?

> Come to our next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering: January 8 from 12-1pm (at TOLI, 5785 N.Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918)
> Save the Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019 for our Big Event at the Pinery
> Discover other ways to get involved here


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