Developing Community and Reducing Poverty through Christ-Centered Savings Groups

Christian Teaching about Finances

Savings groups receive biblical instruction on saving and investing.

Christ-Centered Economic Opportunities for the Poor

Open Hands hires and trains national Christians to form savings groups with local churches.

Savings Groups in Hyderabad, India

In partnership with Open Hands, Good Life Ministries has 1,500+ members in about 130 savings groups.

Our Purpose
Developing Community and Reducing Poverty through Christ-Centered Savings Groups
Our Theme Verse
"If there be among you a poor man… thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need" (Deuteronomy 15:7-8).
Our Mission
As Anabaptist followers of Christ, we desire to keep the commands of Scripture to "bear ye one another’s burdens" and to "consider the cause of the poor" through the development of self-supporting, micro-lending and micro-enterprise programs that teach Biblical financial concepts and present the Gospel of Jesus Christ for a "witness to the nations."

Open Hands operates savings and credit associations in countries where Anabaptist missions are working with people who are experiencing the effects of poverty.

Our goal is to help local Anabaptist church communities achieve self-sufficiency and grow in their ability to minister to each other. We hire and train national Christian individuals to form and supervise savings groups in association with local churches. Our objective is to assist the local churches by helping people grow in Christ, and by teaching them to save funds in order to operate micro-businesses. The Open Hands program helps them increase their income. Stronger, more self-sufficient church communities are the result.

Open Hands and Savings Groups

Program Coordinator Roland Devalcy talks about Open Hands and its savings groups, operating in countries around the world. The vision of Open Hands is to help people to be reconciled with God and with the rest of creation by forming savings groups that teach, pray, and save on a regular basis. Members of savings groups describe how the groups have affected them, giving them opportunities to learn, help each other and improve their lives.

Our Staff
Read more about Open Hands staff.
Our Beliefs
Read the Open Hands Statement of Faith.
Our Board
Read more about the Open Hands board.

Open Hands depends on your contributions to cover our expenses for curriculum, facilitators, and program oversight.

If you endorse the work and vision of Open Hands, we invite you to partner with us.

Your gift will help us expand the program and reach more people. Contributions are tax-deductible.


Types of Savings Groups

We assist people in forming one of three types of savings groups:

Accumulating Savings and Credit Association

Accumulating Savings and Credit Association

In this type of savings group, the participants deposit their savings each week into a common pool of funds that is then available to be loaned out to participants of their own savings group. Participants make an application to the group for a loan. Those receiving loans are charged interest on the outstanding balance of their loan until it is repaid. Many participants use the loans from the savings group to start a small business. These groups generally have a six-month savings cycle. At the end of the savings cycle each participant gets their funds back. They can then withdraw their funds or place them back into the loan pool.

Straight Savings

Straight Savings

In a straight savings group, the participants are saving weekly for a specific need. Many participants in this type of group are saving for their children’s school tuition, home repairs, or funds to purchase larger animals such as pigs, goats, or cows. This type of group has a six-month savings cycle. Each person saves what they can each week. At the end of six months each participant gets back the amount they have saved.

Rotating Savings and Credit Association

Rotating Savings and Credit Association

In this type of savings group, each participant saves the same amount of money each week. The funds collected are each week are given to one participant. The payout is rotated around the group until each participant has received a payout. This gives the participants a larger sum of money at one time. With these funds they can start a small business, do home repairs, or pay other expenses they may have.

Stories from the Savings Groups