23 May 2022
Where your treasure is, there your heart is

Grace & Light members are being encouraged to save part of their incomes and invest in each other’s businesses to reduce the poverty in their lives.

Voluntary Savings and Accountability Groups are the new way of doing life sharing accountability for Grace & Light members who choose to share their HIV results after testing in local churches.

Shortened to VSAG, Grace & Light began introducing the new way of running accountability during 2021. So far 20 groups have been set up in six churches in Jos and Yola.

Each group has 25 to 30 members who meet weekly to encourage each other in their Christian lives. They break into smaller same sex groups for advocacy and life sharing support, then come together as the large group in the final 15 minutes for savings club activities.

Each meeting they are able to buy up to five shares; all the shares have the same value that is agreed by the group, so they have financial equability. Group members can then borrow up to three times the value of their shares and pay interest to the group.

Loans are paid back within three months or interest doubles – so others can borrow. After 12 months members receive the value of their shares plus interest earned. Then their savings club starts again from scratch.

Each savings club is run by three members who act as the treasurers. When the group meets they record deposits and borrowing in a ledger and individual passbooks; then put the money in the group safe, usually in their church, or in a local bank account.

International coordinator Tassie Ghata explained: “We have been concerned for some time that members were not staying committed to life sharing groups for very long. They would join enthusiastically, then begin attending sporadically before stopping.

“This is a problem as group members depend on support from each other if they are to overcome the temptations they face in their daily lives at work and home.

“We’ve been praying for a way of strengthening their accountability to each other and this savings club model seemed good. We tested it first in our Jos office and our team members found it helpful.

“So far the groups that have started in the six churches are staying committed to meeting weekly and supporting each other with life styles and finances. We will be introducing Voluntary Saving Action Groups in other churches during 2022.”

Prayer Requests

Please pray for:

  • Treasurers in the VSAGS will honestly and transparently manage their group members’ savings
  • Group members will attend meetings each week, share their lives openly and encourage other members to live lives that honour God
  • Church leaders will publicly support the VSAGs in their churches.
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