Imagine not being able to find a job. You go from one business to another but no one is hiring. Factories that once operated during communism are abandoned and decaying or used for storage. Some families in your village run a small food store or a bar, but most live off small pensions from the government.
You could move to the city where the economy seems to be improving for people in the retail business. But, even in the city, you might not find a good paying job, you couldn’t have a garden, chickens, or cows to supplement your pension, and your spiritual environment would likely be worse.
As a father, the temptation sets in to go to another country to find work. Others have done it and now have nice houses and cars. But your pastor begs you, “Don’t go.” He has seen too many cases where Christian fathers leave their families to work in another country and never come back. Or the whole family moves abroad, only to realize the negative Western influences on their children, and they move back. Those who stay and stick out the hard conditions, working together with their children, are better able to pass on their values to the next generation.
So you stay and continue to do odd jobs—hoeing corn for someone, cutting and raking hay by hand for someone else, hauling things with a horse and wagon (if you have one). Sometimes you are paid a little money, sometimes a little food. But no matter how hard you work, there’s never enough to go around. Some weeks there is no money for groceries, and you can only cry out to God for sustenance.
This scenario is repeated many times throughout Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine, where many families still struggle in deep poverty. For more than 3,000 Christian families, the answer to their prayers sometimes comes through CAM’s Adopt-A-Family program and the arrival of a food parcel. Although a food parcel doesn’t solve all of a family’s problems, it helps lighten their load and encourage their hearts.
“Our goal is to try to assist families through a critical time,” says our distribution director in Romania. “Since we get more requests than we can assist, every year there will be many families who receive their last parcel and others who will receive their first one.”
For some families, receiving a parcel lessens their grocery bill so they can pay other expenses. For others, it means having food they normally couldn’t afford, such as rice, flour, and meat. Timothy and Maria’s children had been asking for meat and were delighted with the cans of chicken they found among the contents of the food parcel. This family in Ukraine says, “Thanks to God and to the sponsors who have given this gift. May He bless you and reward you one hundredfold.”
If you would like to encourage needy Christian families in Eastern Europe, please choose from the options below. $69 provides a 50-pound parcel of food and healthcare items.