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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What our clients want you to know

We love to tell stories about TOLI families. But it's really their own words that matter most.

You already know that TOLI grants microloans so families in poor communities can start their own small businesses. But did you know that our social workers meet with these entrepreneurs at least once a month? That means that throughout the whole term of the loan — 12 to 18 months — clients are listened to, encouraged, coached, supported, trained, and prayed for regularly by our faithful field staff.

The words our clients share with us show the impact of the TOLI program on real lives, on real families, in real time. We thought you'd like to hear from them yourself. 

"I have learnt to never underestimate myself. I am now believing in myself more, and the ability to achieve my dreams. I have been able to provide for my family comfortably."  —  REGINA , shop owner in Kenya

"I have learnt to never underestimate myself. I am now believing in myself more, and the ability to achieve my dreams. I have been able to provide for my family comfortably." REGINA, shop owner in Kenya

"I have been learning that business can be a great tool for the extension of the Kingdom of God. We are very happy. ... now we can dream more. Dreaming is sweet."  —  JOHN , goat breeder in India

"I have been learning that business can be a great tool for the extension of the Kingdom of God. We are very happy. ... now we can dream more. Dreaming is sweet." JOHN, goat breeder in India

"I stand by my mother to learn hairdressing from her. I love to work hard and know that I am helping. We work side by side."  —  MARIA , hairdresser's daughter in Egypt

"I stand by my mother to learn hairdressing from her. I love to work hard and know that I am helping. We work side by side." MARIA, hairdresser's daughter in Egypt

"I am now able to convince my family about having a big vision. My family is very focused nowadays. My thinking has changed, and I am very focused on my good project. I am now able to see far."  —  NANCY , dairy farmer in Kenya

"I am now able to convince my family about having a big vision. My family is very focused nowadays. My thinking has changed, and I am very focused on my good project. I am now able to see far." NANCY, dairy farmer in Kenya



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A delicious way to support TOLI

Acclaimed food truck GOLD STAR PIES and TOLI are partnering up in a sweet fundraising event! 

Come pay whatever you wish for a piece of pie and 100% of the money will fund TOLI microloans to our partners around the world. Our goal for the day is to raise $2,500, enough to fund 10 loans. And we're getting a little competitive too...

YOU COULD WIN A PRIVATE PIE TRUCK PARTY FOR 25... The person who pays the most for a slice of pie during the event wins a private pie truck party for 25 people! There will be swag, coffee, competition, pie, and tons of love. 

Get Pie. Give Hope. // Downtown COS Food Truck event
WHEN:
Sunday Nov. 11, 10-2pm
WHERE: 302 E. Platte Ave., Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (corner of Platte and Weber, in front of The Cupcake Girls)

Many thanks to our fabulous sponsor, Gold Star Pies, which serves up award-winning sweet pies all over Colorado Springs and is owned by baker-entrepreneur Heather Briggs. We are honored to partner with you! 


Come meet, greet, and pray with one of our Kenyan partners

We're thrilled to host Humphrey Kanga, founder and director of KCK Ministries in Kenya and a key TOLI program partner. Come meet him and pray with us at the next #TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering. You'll hear from Humphrey, as well as stories and specific prayer requests from our field staff for individual clients and their families. And then together we'll pray for them, by name. Please join us!

#TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering // 2nd Tuesday of each month
When:
Nov. 13, 12pm-1pm
Where: 5785 N. Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

If you have questions, or would prefer to join us by phone to pray, please email Linda Hood, our TOLI Prayer Coordinator. 

Humphrey Kanga (right) with TOLI Founder Emad Yassa (left) and Executive Director Abigail McConnell (center) visiting a client's business in Kenya.

Humphrey Kanga (right) with TOLI Founder Emad Yassa (left) and Executive Director Abigail McConnell (center) visiting a client's business in Kenya.


Family-sized transformation

This husband and wife once struggled to survive. Now they're providing for their family — and their community.

A few years ago, Nady had a stroke that left him unemployed and unable to provide for his wife and two young sons. His family's future was bleak. 

Then someone at church encouraged him to apply for a TOLI microloan to build an income-earning project. In fact, Nady already had a good idea for a business: Because fresh meat is only available at the local market once a week and nobody owns a freezer, there was a need for frozen meat supply. Nady invested in a deep freezer with a $200 TOLI microloan, and began selling frozen chicken, beef, and lamb seven days a week from his home. His neighbors now had access to meat all week long, and Nady had a new source of income.

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Nady quickly began earning a profit that helped re-stabilize the family, earn steady income, and pay back the loan. But this family was just getting started.

His wife, Mervet, dreamed of creating her own hair salon. After seeing Nady's success, she dove in too, and Mervet took a TOLI loan to buy a salon chair, hair dryers, and a curling iron. She was in business. 

Today, while Nady sells meat out of the back of their house, Mervet cuts and styles hair in the front. Together they are meeting all the needs of their family, paying for school for their two boys, George and Joseph, providing key resources to their small village, and finding ways to give back to their community.  And since they both have paid back their loans, neighbors have had the opportunity to use these revolving loan funds too.

Two weeks ago, we had the honor of meeting with Nady and Mervet in their village of El Kom El-Akhdar, Egypt — one of thousands that TOLI has impacted around the world. We met with scores of clients like them and were so encouraged to see firsthand how God is using TOLI to strengthen households like Nady and Mervet's, which then impact whole communities and help transform entire villages.

In fact, we are daring to dream that TOLI can transform all of Egypt. Will you dream with us?  




Come pray with us.

Maybe you can't travel with us to meet our clients firsthand. But if you're in the Colorado Springs area you can do the next best thing.  Each month we gather staff and volunteers to pray — and we want you to join us. You'll hear stories about what's going on at each site and updates on individual clients and their families. And then together we pray for them, by name. Please join us!

#TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering // 2nd Tuesday of each month
When:
October 9, 12pm-1pm
Where: 5785 N. Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

If you have questions, or would prefer to join us by phone to pray, please email Linda Hood, our TOLI Prayer Coordinator. 


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Travel with TOLI

See firsthand what God is doing through TOLI. Find out more about joining us on a Vision Trip or Medical Mission Trip in 2019: 

The ABCs of hope

In the spirit of back-to-school, and because many of you are just getting to know us, here's a handy primer on some TOLI basics. 

A is for ALLEVIATING POVERTY. We work to truly alleviate poverty—for good—in a way that's dignified, lasting, and sustainable. We break the cycle of dependency and hopelessness that traditional charity often enables.
B is for BUSINESS-BASED SOLUTIONS. Rather than giving handouts, we offer a hand up in the form of microloans and small business training, so poor families can start their own income-earning businesses. 
C is for CHRIST-CENTERED TRANSFORMATION. Poverty isn't just about dollars and cents, it's also about hearts and minds. So we work holistically, investing in the God-given creative capacity of every person, while pointing to Jesus Christ as the one true source of abundance and eternal freedom.

... THEN MULTIPLY
Our revolving loan model creates a cycle of hope that's transforming the lives of individuals, families, and whole villages in a sustainable way. Here's how it works:

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By the numbers
In 15 different communities in five countries around the world, TOLI is reaching poor families with these ABCs. Right now we have more than 400 clients in our program, with nearly 2000 who've benefitted from a TOLI loan since we began in 2004. The average microloan value is about $250, which clients use to buy the tools or supplies needed to start their business. Our social workers then stay in relationship with the client over the course of the loan offering both business and spiritual support. 



STAR STUDENTS
Meet a few of our newest clients! Each recently took a TOLI loan to build a small business or took part in our small business training classes. These classes teach the basics of entrepreneurship, including subjects like building a business plan, marketing, record keeping, budgeting, saving, and more—all from a Biblically-based framework. 

In Nicaragua, Sedy (center) took a loan this month to build her sewing business. Her new business will help her care for her elderly mother (left) and her grandchildren.

In Nicaragua, Sedy (center) took a loan this month to build her sewing business. Her new business will help her care for her elderly mother (left) and her grandchildren.

Mary, in Kenya, has invested in inventory for her small general shop.

Mary, in Kenya, has invested in inventory for her small general shop.

Last weekend, these new clients in India took part in our business training class.

Last weekend, these new clients in India took part in our business training class.


FIELD TRIPS

Egypt and Albania: Next week, a team of leaders and volunteers from the US will travel to our sites in Egypt and Albania. Please pray for this team as they go encourage clients and partners in the field— Dick and Mary Frieg, Wendi Lord, Steve and Linda Hood, Abigail McConnell, and Emad Yassa. 

2019 Field Trips: Teams are forming now for 2019! Find out more about joining us on a Vision Trip or Medical Mission Trip in the coming year here:


Come pray with us

Please join us for our monthly Prayer Gathering. We have a beautiful new office space where we gather and we're so excited to share it with you!

With specific and up-to-the-minute prayer requests submitted directly from our field staff, each month we lift up clients, social workers, our ministry partners in different countries, and the entire TOLI family of supporters. It's a powerful time and a great way to support TOLI. Please join us!

#TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering // 2nd Tuesday of each month
When:
 September 11, 12pm-1pm
Where: 5785 N. Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

If you have questions, or would prefer to join us by phone to pray, please email Linda Hood, our TOLI Prayer Coordinator. 
 


 

This is someone you're going to want to root for

From our Executive Director


Let me introduce you to a friend. I first met Esther last fall at her home—two small rooms divided by hanging sheets. There she lives with her children, her siblings and her siblings' children—eight of them all together. That day, Esther proudly showed me pictures of her kids, talked about her dreams, and prayed with our team as we stood shoulder to shoulder in that dimly lit room.

This month, Esther became a TOLI client—and a small business owner.

And she has been preparing. She's spent months taking part in a women's savings group, attending TOLI business training, and working with our social worker to create a business plan. 

Esther (left) sorts her new clothing inventory with TOLI staffer Lucy (right).

Esther (left) sorts her new clothing inventory with TOLI staffer Lucy (right).

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“I hope to have my own home with my family, educate my kids and raise our standard of living.” — Esther, 29

 

Now, Esther is a saleswoman of women's undergarments and clothes. She bought her inventory with a TOLI microloan of about $200, which she'll pay back in monthly installments over one year. Even though Esther only has a fourth grade education, she knows how to work hard, and how to serve. Esther volunteers her time to help clean her local church.

It may seem like the odds are against a 29-year-old single mother of eight in rural Kenya. And it's true Esther has a long road ahead. But she won't be alone. Our TOLI staffer Lucy, who's from Esther's very same community, will support her as she builds this brand new life, cheering her on, helping her stay brave, and pointing her to Jesus every step of the way. I feel so honored to know them both. 

I'll let you in on a little secret, if you can't already tell: Esther is one of my favorite clients. For some reason I find myself rooting for her extra hard.

Will you root for her too? Will you pray for her?

After all, isn't that what praying for each other really is—brothers and sisters rooting for each other before God? You and Esther and I, we're bound together as God's family. So we pull for each other and we root for each other—and in doing so we discover hope and dignity when we realize that God himself is rooting for us too.  

With gratitude and joy, 

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Abigail McConnell
Executive Director

PS: Scroll down to see how you can LITERALLY JOIN US in prayer next month...



Come pray with us — in our new office space

Big things happen when people pray. That's why we're inviting you to come pray with us—in person—for our clients, just like Esther, and for what God is doing through TOLI. Here's the best part: we have a new office space where we can gather together to pray! We're so excited to share it with you.

With specific and up-to-the-minute prayer requests submitted directly from our field staff, we will lift up clients by name, social workers, our ministry partners in different countries, and the entire TOLI family of supporters. Please join us!

#TOLITuesday Prayer Gathering // 2nd Tuesday of each month
When:
August 14, 12pm-1pm
Where: 5785 N. Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80918

We want this to be a tangible way for you to engage with TOLI. No gift is more powerful or more vital than the gift of prayer. 

If you have questions, or would prefer to join us by phone to pray, please email Linda Hood, our TOLI Prayer Coordinator. 
 

Nicaragua crisis: the good news and the bad news

Brenda, left, gives a thumbs up at her new snack bar business. 

Brenda, left, gives a thumbs up at her new snack bar business. 

For Brenda, the past three months have been life-changing— for her personally and for her country of Nicaragua. 

In April, Brenda took a TOLI loan to start her own small business, at the same time protests broke out in the capital city of Managua, sparking violence and unrest that continues to escalate. 

Despite the deteriorating situation she's watched unfold in her country, Brenda remains determined to build a new future for herself and her family.

"In the midst of adversity," Brenda says, "we have to maintain a positive attitude and make a difference by creating new ideas, opening doors for new purposes." 

Business is swift at Brenda's new snack bar, and the income is already making a difference in her life. She's learning small business skills, as well as biblical principles that are helping her, as she says, "improve my relationship with God, and be able to share the gospel with my children."

We're grateful for Brenda's determination and hope, but we're also concerned about the situation in Nicaragua. While most of the unrest has happened hours away from our partners in Puerto Cabezas, the unrest is spreading, as are the economic impacts. Road blockades and insecurity mean the normally safe highways are not open to deliveries of goods and services. Prices are spiking and resources are becoming scarce. While Brenda and our other clients are hopeful, there is a real vulnerability and uncertainty ahead. 

Because of this, we're adding a special opportunity to give in support of our Nicaragua program. By giving to our Nicaragua fund, you can help us best serve our partners in Puerto Cabezas during what we pray is a short season of turmoil. To help, click the button below and select the designation "Nicaragua." 

And, of course, please pray for peace in Nicaragua, for safety for our friends at VERBO Ministries in Puerto Cabezas, and for a resolution to this crisis.

THE GOOD NEWS: In just three months, Brenda's busy snack bar is booming. And she's proud to tell us what she's learning through TOLI's program. "By improving communication and working as a team," she reports, "I have stimulated my family a lot in terms of economic, social and spiritual growth."

THE GOOD NEWS: In just three months, Brenda's busy snack bar is booming. And she's proud to tell us what she's learning through TOLI's program. "By improving communication and working as a team," she reports, "I have stimulated my family a lot in terms of economic, social and spiritual growth."

THE BAD NEWS: For the past three months,  a police crackdown on civilians  protesting Nicaragua's government have led to hundreds of deaths, charges of human rights violations, and an economy at a total standstill. (Photo Credit: BBC News)

THE BAD NEWS: For the past three months, a police crackdown on civilians protesting Nicaragua's government have led to hundreds of deaths, charges of human rights violations, and an economy at a total standstill. (Photo Credit: BBC News)


Updates from our other sites

KENYA

— Here's a prayer request from Social Worker Lucy in Mai-I-Ihii, whose clients have experienced an unusual amount of loss, grief and challenge lately: "Pray for us to have wisdom from above, words of encouragement always while we visit these women. This month’s visits have had a fair share of low moments and sad stories, but with God’s grace we’ve been able to encourage the women."


INDIA

— Praise God for new wheels! Thanks to a special gift, our social worker Ashish will now have a motorbike to help him better serve clients in remote areas. Please pray that God will help him reach more clients around the Duars region.

EGYPT

— Praise God for growth. TOLI is multiplying quickly in Egypt — 3 new sites in just the last two months. Please pray for wisdom and provision for these new TOLI clients, for our volunteers through Heliopolis Evangelical Church, Cairo, and for our social workers. 

TOLI BOARD NEWS

— Please welcome Dick Frieg as TOLI's newest board member! Dick's rich background in missions through Cru, a long career in operations with David C Cook, and experience as a current small business owner make him an incredible addition to our team. 


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How one father changed his family's future — forever.

When we first met Mohammed over a decade ago, he was struggling to put food on the table for himself and for his five kids.

He was struggling — but he was also dreaming. He dreamed of creating a business that would provide for his family's daily needs as well as for their future. So he applied for a TOLI microloan. With that loan of about $150, he bought the ingredients and equipment needed to make and sell felafel. He mixed it by hand, cooked it with a propane stove and sold it to his neighbors. 

And Mohammed's felafel was good. 

Mohammed and his kids show us his original felafel mixer, purchased with a TOLI microloan over a decade ago.

Mohammed and his kids show us his original felafel mixer, purchased with a TOLI microloan over a decade ago.

Soon his business was earning good income, his family's life improved, and he quickly paid off the loan. But Mohammed kept dreaming. He took another TOLI loan to expand his business with an industrial mixer, increasing production and sales of his famous felafel. He quickly paid off that loan too.

Because of Mohammed's hard work and creativity, matched with TOLI's simple but powerful program, all five of his children are cared for, well fed, and in school. Now he's even sent one daughter to college. His family's future is forever changed.

Mohammed used a second loan to buy an industrial mixer to expand his business.

Mohammed used a second loan to buy an industrial mixer to expand his business.


Mohammed's story answers a few of the most common questions we get about our program: How long does TOLI stay involved in the lives of clients? And, are clients allowed to take more than one loan? 

We've known Mohammed for over 12 years. His was one of the very first loans we granted in the town of Nazzlet Hanna, Egypt. In all of our sites, staffers visit clients regularly throughout their loan term, building relationships and getting to know their families. And because our model is to serve clients who are connected to each other — through either geographic proximity or because they're part of a savings group — we can see the big-picture impact of our program over time. Our partners in Nazzlet Hanna have been walking with clients and ministering to the community for years — building trust, praying for restoration and sharing the hope of the Gospel.

And do we allow multiple loans? YES!  After a client pays back their first loan, we encourage them to apply for additional loans to further expand their small businesses — until they've moved up the economic ladder and out of our target demographic of the 'poorest of the poor.' 

So what's next for Mohammed? Well, he keeps dreaming — now it's a dream of a full-service restaurant. And from what we've learned about Mohammed, that dream is bound to come true. We'll keep you posted. 


Inspired? Here are 3 ways you can get involved:

1. PRAY. Mohammed is just one example of thousands God has touched through TOLI — and it all starts with prayer. Pray for our clients, partner ministries and about how you can be a part of this ministry. 

2. GIVE. You can help propel another success story like Mohammed's. When you donate to TOLI, you equip someone with a life-changing microloan and the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

3. AMPLIFY. Do you have a small group, Bible Study, missions committee or business group that would be interested in hearing more about the power of microloans? We love to sharing stories like these in person! CONTACT US to request a speaker and help us spread the word.


TRAVEL WITH US IN 2019 

Want to meet clients like Mohammed yourself? There's no better way to understand how TOLI changes lives than by joining us on a Vision Trip. We're leading vision trips to Kenya and Nicaragua in 2019. Interested? Visit our TRIPS section for details. 


Updates from our other sites

NICARAGUA

— Program progress and political strife. We are grateful that our new program in Puerto Cabezas is off to a strong start — five poor single moms here have started small businesses with TOLI microloans in the last month. At the same time, the country has been reeling from demonstrations, police violence, and political upheaval. Please pray for peace in the country and safety for our partners.

INDIA

— Community small business training. In partnership with First Presbyterian Church (Colorado Springs) we trained nearly 40 people in small business principles and practices in Kalimpong, India in April. TOLI Field Staffer Ashish Subba and ministry partner Pastor Mathias Subba played key roles in facilitating this successful week-long training for members of this community. Pray for the training to be shared and implemented by TOLI clients and friends.

ALBANIA

— Praise God for small beginnings. This month, our first client in Albania began a business raising pigs. This 'pilot' loan is an important first step in helping our partners here establish the TOLI program. Please pray for Ilir's new pig business, as well as for field staffer, Nico, and our volunteer leaders. 

KENYA

— Farmers' small business training. In the village of Magumoni, near Mount Kenya, we're working with a community savings group of small scale farmers. This month we launched a small business training course with this group, laying the foundation for granting our first loans later this summer. 
— Pray for relief from extreme rains and flooding that's plagued much of Kenya this spring. Our clients' businesses have been negatively impacted, so pray for their perseverance, as well as improved weather patterns!