Yu Yan’s Story

Nov 16, 2020

In 1983, Yu Yan* began working as a painting apprentice for a construction company in East Asia*. As she gained skills in her trade, she eventually decided to venture out and start her very own painting company. It was very hard economically, but she never lost sight of her dream. A friend, who was already benefitting from the work of HOPE International, shared a flyer with Yu Yan about HOPE’s loan offerings and she decided to give it a try. She joined simply because she needed funds, but today Yu Yan would tell you making that decision changed her life.

She started in 2008 with a loan from HOPE of $432 which enabled her to purchase supplies, and after going through many cycles of repaying and receiving additional loans, she was able to sustain and grow her business. Through these loans she was able to earn enough income to pay off her mortgage and is also helping her son and daughter-in-law pay theirs. People around her say she is a short woman, but despite that, “she can do anything other tall people do.” Yu Yan is smart, determined, resilient, and never gives up finding methods and solutions to solve problems when they arise. When she first launched her business, she was only able to do business in partnership with others, but as her business flourished, she hired employees and began subcontracting part of her work. Her business has decreased due to the pandemic, but due to her good relationships with customers, she’s been able to find work and cover her family’s expenses.

Yu Yan became friends with the HOPE staff over the years, and through the biblically based trainings she received, her attitude and temper steadily began to soften. Her husband had a stroke in 2015, causing significant long-term medical challenges and expensive bills. She used to be discouraged and even resent him because he was unable to work to support the family. Drawing from the faithful love and care she received from her friends at HOPE, she overcame her bitterness and now joyfully serves her husband. She washes his feet by hand and helps him walk. He enjoys listening to Opera in a local park, so Yu Yan lovingly pushes him on their tricycle to the park and returns after work to push him back home. Though his illness has gotten worse and he needs near constant care, Yu Yan has stepped in graciously to care for him while still keeping her business going.

“Through the loans, there have been big changes in my life… My outlook on life has completely changed.”

More than twenty years of microfinance experience tells us that this year’s crises disproportionately impact the most vulnerable. Like Yu Yan dotingly washing her husband’s feet, we are called to a radically loving response. Through the work of HOPE International, we have extended grace and flexibility to entrepreneurs while their economies were shut down, and as their businesses reopen, we’ll be there, coming alongside these men and women with recovery lending to help restart and recapitalize their businesses. A long-time partner and Homes for HOPE board member, has given a $400,000 gift challenging us to raise $1 million of our network’s need for recovery lending capital! Thanks to other generous gifts that have already been committed we only have $403,000 left to raise toward this goal.

As HOPE-network entrepreneurs strive to reopen their businesses, will you consider fighting global poverty with a generous gift that will not only meet current needs, but will work to break the cycle of generational poverty for years to come? Should you feel inclined to give, please visit our donation page where you can give safely and securely online. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration.

Matthew Baehr

Matthew Baehr

Executive Director of Development Homes for HOPE

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