Midnight settled over a city in India. Homeless people huddled around a local temple and bus stop, trying to sleep. They shivered in the bitter December air.
“The winter has arrived and we do not have enough blankets or heating to protect from…. the cold ….. We have been quite worried about how we will survive the season.” -Yemen
Local believers felt compassion when they saw the suffering of these people. The thick blankets they wrapped around the shivering bodies brought warmth and light to the cold, dark night.
Blankets for the Poor
Blankets are an unaffordable luxury for many people around the world. As winter approaches, we receive increased requests for blankets from India, Syria, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and a number of other places. To help show Christ’s love in a practical way, we channel supporters’ funds to purchase blankets and distribute them to refugees, villagers, handicapped people, widows, and other needy people.
Blankets for Ukraine
In war-torn Ukraine, many people are unprepared for dropping temperatures. Kyiv, the country’s capital city, experiences normal winter temperatures near 20ºF. The war has displaced more than 6 million people inside the country, and serious fuel shortages are expected this winter. Many homes are damaged and windowless. To reach out to Ukrainians who are anxious about the looming winter, staff members are purchasing and distributing blankets. Large quantities of handmade comforters will also be sent to Ukraine, but the supply does not nearly meet the demand.
“I’m finally warm!”
In Syria, Nida’s* family lives in a tent since the country’s civil war forced them from their home. A stroke left her husband unable to work, making Nida the primary breadwinner for her family of four children.
“Living in a tent is one of the biggest difficulties my family and I suffer,” Nida said. “In the winter, the tent gets freezing cold as the wind tears through it . . . The tent also leaks water . . . Unfortunately, we have no alternative because we cannot rent an apartment.”
Temperatures in this area of Syria dip to 40ºF in the winter. Although it may not seem bitterly cold, many displaced people like Nida’s family do not have insulated shelter, proper means of heating, or sufficient winter clothing.
After hearing Nida’s story, CAM contacts gave her family four blankets. Her 5-year-old son wrapped a blanket around himself and exclaimed, “Mom, I’m finally warm!”
Contacts in Asia say that people are touched to receive blankets from followers of Jesus. Last winter, Charita in India said, “I cannot see, since I was visually impaired from my childhood. But the Lord Jesus Christ is taking care of me. I want to thank God because I got a blanket during this severe winter.”
*Names in this article are changed to protect identities.
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