“Lord, thank you for brothers and sisters who donated these funds,” prayed a needy widow in Ukraine who received potatoes. She, like many others in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, can barely afford basic food staples and other necessities. Economies are declining, job opportunities are limited, and inflation and food prices are rising.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have been major factors in the economic fallouts of these countries. Many small businesses were forced to close, limiting supplies and leaving people without employment. Closed borders left thousands of people, who usually travel to other countries to find work, with no source of income.
Other factors also contribute to the economic problems. In the countries of Kazakhstan and Georgia, droughts and floods have increased food shortages and spiked prices. Rising gasoline prices present another hurdle to many families. In other countries, war is a factor. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 displaced thousands of people who fled home with little more than the clothes on their backs. Simmering tension between Ukraine and Russia makes it difficult for breadwinners to find sources of income.
To bring hope and help in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, CAM is working to provide potatoes to impoverished families and individuals. People are grateful to receive potatoes that will help them through the long, cold months of winter.
Potatoes are a staple for people in these regions. In Russia and Kazakhstan, people sometimes refer to the potato as their “second bread” because they incorporate it into various parts of their daily diet. Rich in nutrients, potatoes rank as one of the world’s most important crops.
Potatoes & opportunity
Providing potatoes opens unique opportunities. CAM contacts often work with pastors to distribute potatoes to believers in their congregations. In other cases, potatoes are given to unbelievers as a means of outreach.
Church leaders and recipients express their thanks for the gift of potatoes. “Your help was very timely . . . ” said a pastor in Kazakhstan. “During the [COVID-19] quarantine, many were left without work. The country began an economic downturn . . . At a time when the whole world lives in fear and panic, we are hidden in Him. . . . Thanks again for filling the needs of the saints.”
A church leader from the country of Georgia wrote, “Your help and compassion inspire us to stand firm in the faith in the face of difficulties and trials.”
We would like to provide potatoes for people who will suffer through the upcoming winter. If you wish to support this project, your help will be a blessing! “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9).
To help support the Potatoes For The Poor program, please click below to give a one-time gift.