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COVID-19 has amplified the pervasive poverty that has long gripped certain regions in Central Asia. People who were already living in the margins face disappearing jobs, closed markets, and shuttered clinics. Without help, an alarming number face literal starvation.
One Man Asks
Encompass Director of Training Ted Offut asked his friend E, who lives in Central Asia, “What would it take to get some people through a couple months?”
E thought for a moment, and then answered, “Maybe $400?”
$400—a small price to pay for rescue from starvation.
God’s People Respond
Immediately, Ted brought the need to his Life Group as well as a financial ministry partner. Within 48 hours, they had raised $1,200 and wired the funds to E.
As this money was distributed to the Christians of this region, stories of hope and blessing began to bloom like bright flowers in a parched land:
- Praise God we were able to help a poor believing family who already lives day to day, and the parents are both out of work. We gave them $200, which will be enough to get them through and also allow them to help others.
- Y and M came to Christ four months ago and have one nine-month-old girl. They have no family members to help them. Instead, their Encompass family stepped in offering help and hope.
- K and N have four kids, and no one in the family has been able to get work. They came to Christ two years ago. One of their kids has severe mental issues. With the funds they received, their load is a little lighter.
- A and B have seven kids, and B pushes carts around the bazaar (which is closed). They live in a one-room place. Now they will not starve while B is out of work.
- G has three kids and came to Christ two years ago. She has seen a lot of persecution for her faith and lives in a meager place. God has rewarded her faith by letting us provide for her needs.
- K has four kids, and her oldest spends a lot of time in a psych ward. Her husband is an alcoholic who doesn’t work, so it’s up to her to take care of the kids. She came to Christ six months ago. We now offer help as His feet, hands, and voice.
- Today, one of B’s friends who has a disabled son and no stable job was asking around for food and diapers, and it was so cool that we were already set up to help. They are a cool family, and the man’s dedication to his son is really admirable.
Each of these dear ones is going through intense trials. A simple gift reminding them that they are loved and have a way to provide for their families can mean the literal difference between life and death.
Each of us has the ability to take this kind of faith-filled action, action that glorifies God by serving the least-reached and reminding them that they are not alone in this world.
It can be as straightforward as asking our neighbor, “What do you need?” “How can I help you?” Or as quick as clicking a link to send money directly to someone in need.
You might be surprised at how simple it is to bless someone else, even to save a life.