“In winter period people have two big problems which they can’t solve on their own – hunger and cold!” said a Barnabas contact today. But with God’s help and your gifts and prayers, the problem can be solved.
Beautiful … and dangerous – at least for Christian converts from Islam. That is the Issyk-Kul area of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. The huge saltwater lake is a major tourist attraction, but the area is strongly Islamic and one of the worst parts of the country for anti-Christian persecution. Drought and Covid have added to the difficulties of the Christians, especially in rural villages where they are outcasts from the community. Our brothers and sisters are in desperate need of food, fodder for their animals and fuel for heating.
When the pandemic stopped tourists coming in 2020, the economy of Issyk-Kul was devastated. Work dwindled and prices climbed. Summer 2021 was hot and dry, causing the price of hay to rise so high that people now cannot afford to feed their cattle. They want to sell their animals, but who will buy?
Winter is now adding to the suffering. Average December temperatures in Issyk-Kul are 0°C in the day and -12°C at night. In January it gets even colder.
Living in a cattle shed
One Christian family we have already helped could not pay the rent for their apartment after losing their jobs. Neighbours offered them a cattle shed, which was empty because all the cattle had been sold.
Through the local churches, Barnabas is helping hundreds of the poorest Christian families with basic foods, fodder for their animals or coal for heating, according to their needs.
This help brings spiritual encouragement as well as meeting practical needs. A Christian woman from Issyk-Kul wrote a poem after receiving Barnabas food aid, including the lines:
It is not just produce,
It is not just food,
It is touching my heart,
Our God, Christ.
Please help today.
- 10kg of flour costs £3.60 ($5; €4)
- A monthly food parcel for a family of 4-5 people costs £19 ($25; €22)
- Coal for one family for the winter costs £120 ($160; €140)
- Hay and oats for the cattle of one family for the winter cost £400 ($540; €480)
Your gift will bring them help and hope this winter.