OneIN's President had the opportunity to travel to India at the beginning of October. Take a few minutes to read about the trip in this short interview with Chris.
What one word describes your most recent trip to India?
Chris: I use the word exceptional because I believe on this trip we saw the future. We saw what is possible and what has been the hope of our strategic direction all along.
Can you explain that a bit further?
As a faith-based relief and development organization, OneIN has chosen to tread a path that is not often seen in the development world. Our goal has always been to empower the poor through business. We do this most often through the use of interest-free loans.
During our first two years, we successfully completed approximately 40 separate small business loans. We felt incredibly encouraged regarding the results, with one caveat: we realized that there were limits to growth and expansion. The limits were related not to finances but to personnel.
OneIN has always stood on three pillars:
to mobilize believers in the west
to empower the poor through business
to open doors for the Gospel.
However, we faced one problem. With more projects, we had less time to build relationships with those we hoped to serve.
What have you been doing to solve that problem?
Last year we decided to look at a variation to our strategy that would allow us to actively engage more people but to do so on a much more intimate level. We called that the TIF program. TIF (Trusted International Families) are our way of expanding the reach of OneIN through a grant based-initiative.
Can you give me an example?
Our first TIF was Rex and Margreenda. Rex works as a professor at a local Bible College. Over the past several years, I've built a relationship with the Rex and his family and consider them close personal friends.
One day over dinner, I asked Rex if he would consider utilizing a grant of $500 from OneIN to reach out into his network and function as an extension of OneIN. The idea was simple; we would grant him the money, then he would loan the money to those that God led he and his family to help. In the past twelve months Rex has taken two grants of $500 and helped 9 different families. The $1000 of OneIN funds has been given and returned and given again. Even now as it is being returned for the second time, new families and businesses are being considered. The interest-free revolving fund strategy is proving to be an incredibly effective tool to empower individuals and families and create opportunities to share the loave of Christ with Hinuds and muslims as well as encourage believers who are struggling.
How was this trip exceptional?
This trip was exceptional because on Saturday October 7th, I had the opportunity to meet with 9 active TIF families. During our time together, we shared scripture and I was able to walk them through the guidelines that we have established for TIFs to follow. For about two hours afterward, they shared with me the stories about the families that they have already helped. What made the trip exceptional was seeing and hearing firsthand how God is changing lives and how he is encouraging the TIF families themselves in the process.