For several years Pastor Somchai and Aun have led a project they call The Savings Group. In this group they teach people how to manage their money and plan for the future. The group is structured with leadership and oversight because they pool the saving resources until individuals can transition into a personal bank account. They teach biblical principles regarding money and being a good steward of their resources. They also teach the importance of living below one’s means by giving to the Lord, setting aside 10% for emergencies, and living on what remains without taking on debt. They meet weekly and each member of the group is encouraged to save 10% of their income from the previous week. They call this exercising their saving muscles.

       Ministries like this one are often overlooked when we think about missions, and we would never want an outsider leading a group like this, especially dealing with people’s personal savings. However, Pastor Somchai and Aun know their community and saw that many people were struggling to make it because they had taken on debt and could not make ends meet. In the years since they began the group, they have seen many Thai families become debt free and build an emergency fund to help them face unexpected challenges.  

       There are many people who live in absolute poverty and do not have the resources to meet their basic needs, and we have projects to help provide for some of those needs. In other cases, they have income but have never learned how to manage it and have not cultivated the ability to exercise delayed gratification. When you have a good job and a comfortable salary, you can often do okay despite these issues, but for people who are on the lower end of the economic scale, learning these basic skills can be life changing.

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