“This help in the form of food was like manna from heaven for us, a great blessing and very necessary, because at that time we had absolutely no money left for food and even to pay for utilities there was no money.”
This message came from “Azamat”, a church deacon in Central Asia, who received food aid from Barnabas last winter. Although he works in a factory, his wages are low and it is a terrible struggle to provide for his wife, his children (who are often sick) and his elderly mother. Many Christians are even worse off, as they cannot find any job at all.
Bitter cold coming
And now winter is about to descend again in Central Asia. Temperatures are forecast to start dipping below zero next week and before long it is likely to become bitterly cold. Food and heat are needed for survival.
Like many local Christians, Azamat is a convert from Islam. But converts are often rejected by relatives and community, who normally help each other during the long winter months.
Azamat explains: “The state does nothing to help, and here the Church and [Christian] brothers and sisters take care of us so much. We felt that we are one family.”
Will you be part of the Christian family in Central Asia? Through Barnabas Aid you can provide food and fuel this winter for some of the neediest believers in the region.
Inspired to love and care by Barnabas food parcels
Azamat’s church was inspired by receiving food parcels from Barnabas for its neediest members. “It was a great example of love and care for us,” says Azamat.
The church responded by making a decision to love and care for each other more. “When someone has an excess, they share with those who have nothing,” says Azamat, describing the way his congregation now cares for one another. Nobody now saves anything for their own future needs, but, whenever they have a little to spare, they immediately use it to help other church members who are worse off.
What will you give to needy believers in Central Asia this winter?
Prices are rising all the time, but here are some current costs:
10kg of flour costs around £5 ($5.60; €5.70)
A family food parcel, containing eight food items in quantities to last one month, costs about £26 ($29; €30)
Coal for one family for one month costs about £30 ($33; €34)
3 tonnes of coal, to last a family for the whole winter (5-6 months), costs £160 ($180; €182)