Animals represent opportunity in need in regions once part of the Soviet Union. Communism in these areas fell more than 30 years ago, but scars linger. Finding a sustainable source of income in countries like Moldova, Georgia, or Ukraine is hard, even if families are willing to work hard. Prices of milk, bread, and other food items have soared in recent years. The war in Ukraine is pushing prices in the region even higher, forcing some families to spend most of their income on food.
Animals play a vital role in everyday life. From the shepherd tending his flock, the family traveling in their horse-drawn wagon, the farmer operating his dairy farm, and the mother using meat, milk, and eggs to cook for her family, people from Bible times to the twenty-first century have relied on animals for many basic needs.
Animals and opportunities
CAM contacts and church leaders in Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan yearn to help their people find ways to earn a living in their own communities. Providing animals funded by CAM helps them carry out their vision. A network of Christian contacts and local pastors distribute cows, calves, goats, pigs, and chickens to people in need. In addition to farm animals, they are also providing some beehives. The gift of a few goats or a flock of chickens gives a struggling family a hands-on source of work, food, and income.
Providing animals is also an avenue for church leaders to encourage fellow Christians and show Jesus’ love in action to unbelievers. One pastor shared how he went from house to house distributing chickens and preaching the Gospel. In Kyrgyzstan, a family who received pigs wrote, “We want to thank you for your participation in the needs of the saints. . . . May our God bless you richly for your diligence . . .”
The gift of animals has potential to bless more people than recipients themselves. A Christian father in Kazakhstan who received the gift of cows passed on the blessing by giving calves to families in need.
Chickens from the people of God
Pepela and her husband are parents of two sons and a daughter who has Down syndrome. The family lives in the country of Georgia, flanked by Russia, the Black Sea, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
Pepela wrote, “Raising three children is not easy, especially in a country engulfed by an economic and food crisis.” Her husband’s salary barely covered the family’s food costs before COVID-19. During the pandemic, Pepela’s husband lost his job, leaving them with no source of income. “The children were often hungry,” Pepela remembered. “Often waking up at night, I thought about how to feed the children in the morning, and with tears I asked God for help, because it was painful to look at the hungry children.”
Pepela’s prayers were answered, in the form of chickens. “In these difficult times, the people of God came to us and extended a helping hand,” she wrote. “The people of God brought us chickens. . . . my children were very happy. Our . . . little girl was especially delighted. Her joy knew no bounds.”
A pastor in Georgia shared, “Your help not only meets urgent needs, but also strengthens the faith of our brothers and sisters [and is] good evidence of God’s love for those who do not know God.” If you wish to give the gift of opportunity to needy families in the former Soviet Union, your funds will help provide chickens, calves, goats, and other animals. God bless you!
Please click below to give a gift of Farm Animals.