A father in Kazakhstan worried as cold weather approached. He wanted to keep his family warm during the winter months, but that meant he had to borrow money, either to buy coal or to replace the old windows that let cold winds into his house. “We decided to start with the windows,” this father said, “and pray for coal and entrust our need to the Lord.
“We prayed hard together with the children,” he continued. “A short time passed, and God sent the money for the coal. Glory to Him! And my heartfelt thanks to the good, sacrificial friends for their help.”
This father’s dilemma is repeated across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Winter brings increased expenses for many struggling families and individuals. On top of daily expenses like food, housing, and schooling comes the need for heating resources like firewood or fuel. While costs increase during the winter, some job opportunities decrease, especially in rural villages where people depend on crops and livestock for income. Some families resort to heating only one or two rooms in their house, and others borrow money to make it through the winter.
The war in Ukraine compounds these problems. Inside the country, people fear they will need to endure another harsh winter of blackouts, damaged homes, and missiles. In the region surrounding Ukraine, sanctions and inflation leave many people struggling to buy heating fuel, food, and other necessities.
Through the Warm-A-Family program, we respond to winter needs in countries like Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Georgia. CAM staff and contacts purchase and distribute firewood, coal, and stoves. In some cases, we provide funds to pay heating bills or purchase firewood or coal. Follow-up is then done with recipients to ensure they used the funds as intended.
Heating aid impacts a variety of people including large needy families, widowed mothers, and elderly people living alone. Despite their differences, they are united by the burden they carry during winter months and their thankfulness for the help they receive.
One recipient is a family with three young children from a rural village in Kyrgyzstan. The father faces kidney problems. When coal was delivered to this young family’s home, the three children jumped for joy!
In Satbeyev, Kazakhstan, six elderly widows shared how they struggle to keep their apartments heated during the winter. It’s hard enough for them to cover normal food and medical costs with their small pensions. These widows were grateful for funds to help pay their heating bills. They said, “It’s very pleasant to realize that people we don’t know, but are relatives in Christ, have given up something in order to allocate these funds for us. We are very grateful to God!” Although their failing health keeps them from doing much physical work, they invest in the church through diligent prayer.
Vasiliu and Daniela are parents in Romania who received funds to purchase firewood. “It makes such a great difference for us, as we couldn’t afford to buy the needed quantity of firewood,” they wrote. “It was good news and a great relief for us to see that other Christian brothers understand the economic situation in Romania and invest so many resources and energy into addressing our specific needs. We were able to get . . . wood right before the recent snow . . . What a gift this was for us.”
With the ongoing need for heating resources across the world, we are facing large funding needs for the Warm-A-Family program. If you are interested in providing the gift of warmth for needy people in places like Eastern Europe or Central Asia, your support will be a blessing!
To help support the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.