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Potatoes from God’s People

Potatoes rank as one of the world’s most important crops. Rich in nutrients, they are a part of daily life for many people in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Families often depend heavily on their supply of potatoes during the long, winter months. When that supply fails, impoverished people find relief when our staff and contacts provide potatoes for the winter through the Potatoes for the Poor program.

A widow from the country of Georgia (pictured above) said, “My children lacked food, and we could hardly make ends meet. . . . God’s people brought us potatoes. . . . My children were very happy, as this is their favorite dish.”

CAM is providing potatoes to impoverished families and individuals in Central Asia and Eastern Europe where economies are declining, job opportunities are limited, and inflation and food prices are rising.

To help support the Potatoes for the Poor program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

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Potatoes for the Poor

The gift of potatoes inspires words of gratitude and praise to God from recipients in Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and other countries.

“Today the brothers brought us potatoes that will last us all winter, thank God!” exclaimed a family from Kazakhstan. “There are no words to fully express all the joy for the Lord’s love for us. Blessed be His name and may His praise never cease!”

A woman in Uzbekistan said, “Your sacrifice turned out to be a great help for us, and for unbelieving relatives, it was a bright testimony of God’s love and care. We stocked up on potatoes for the whole winter.”

Tatyana, a Gypsy widow in Belarus, said, “I was crying out to God about my need to buy potatoes for the winter. The Lord answered this day! Isn’t this a miracle?”

Providing potatoes

We pass these thanks on to you, our supporters who make this project possible. In the past few years, your funds have enabled us to provide millions of pounds of potatoes for elderly people, struggling families, widows, and others.

Gifting potatoes brings unique opportunities to minister to people in countries once part of the Soviet Union. Across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus region, and Central Asia, people have faced decades of weak economies and limited prospects. The war in Ukraine has caused further economic strain. With winter coming, families are confronted with the need to heat their homes on top of other everyday expenses they struggle to cover.

Since potatoes are essential to daily diets in these regions, people are deeply grateful for the gift of potatoes, especially in preparing for the long winter. “For our family, it is like bread for the winter,” said the Ershov family in Kazakhstan. “All the children are very happy and glad that this winter they will eat potatoes . . .”

Your support of this project provides more than physical nourishment to people in need. After receiving funds to purchase potatoes, a church leader in Turkmenistan wrote, “It is dear to see we are not forgotten, that we are in the same family.” In the country of Georgia, two pastors said their members used potato distributions as evangelism opportunities, going from house to house, delivering potatoes and preaching the good news of Jesus.

Thank you for your help to provide potatoes, which in turn encourages our Christian brothers and sisters and exposes others to the Gospel.

A look at the Potatoes for the Poor program

Why potatoes?
Potatoes, a rich source of nutrients, are an important part of people’s diets in many parts of the world.

Where are potatoes provided?
Eleven countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus region, and Central Asia.

Who distributes potatoes?
CAM staff members, trusted contacts, and national church leaders.

When are potatoes distributed?
Normally in late summer or autumn, to give recipients a supply of potatoes before the winter.

How much do potatoes cost?
The average cost for 100 pounds of potatoes is $30.

What is the program budget?
The 2023 potatoes budget is $740,000

To help support the Potatoes for the Poor program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

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Potatoes for the Poor

Potatoes, Christian AId Ministries

In Belarus, a needy Gypsy family planted a field of potatoes with the help of local believers.  Their children waited eagerly, anticipating a bountiful harvest. But with the summer’s unusually hot temperatures and little rainfall, the plants withered and died.

Sorely disappointed, the children earnestly prayed that God would send potatoes for the coming winter. And God answered! Through caring believers, the family received several large bags of potatoes.

Potatoes, Christian AId Ministries

Like this family, people across Eastern Europe and Central Asia depend heavily on potatoes, especially in the winter months. A Ukrainian contact explains the important role potatoes play in his culture. “Our country is poor,” he says, “and . . . my father constantly had to travel elsewhere for work. The majority of our food, including provisions for the winter months, came from our garden. We never had the choice of ‘fish or beef’ because we understood that the only readily available and nourishing food was potatoes . . .

“There were times when we would run out of potatoes in the middle of winter. Then our mother would say, ‘Children, we have no more food!’ . . . If there were no potatoes, there was no food! That is [still] the understanding in Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.”

 Providing potatoes for the poor

Contributions from our supporters make it possible to provide potatoes in Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Kazakhstan, and other countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Many people in these countries are finding it increasingly difficult to afford food staples and other items. In many countries, this struggle is rooted in crippled economies, spiking food prices, drought, or limited job opportunities. The war in Ukraine has certainly deepened the struggle.

Potatoes provide a unique way to connect with local bodies of believers. In many cases, our contacts work through pastors to purchase and distribute potatoes in their churches and communities. The potatoes can be an encouragement and reminder to an impoverished Christian family that God and their brothers and sisters across the world care about their needs. Other times, a gift of potatoes speaks of Jesus to an unbelieving recipient.

The Donetsk region of Ukraine has faced brewing conflict and ongoing struggles for years. A contact in the region says, “In our churches, it is a momentous occasion when we are able to buy potatoes. All the children, youth, and fathers gather to help load and distribute the . . . potatoes. Many times, this is accompanied by tears of joy and gratitude. The morale is immediately lifted and so much happiness is seen on everyone’s faces.”

He continues, “These churches experience bouts of fear and anxiety due to the constant shelling that continues in their regions . . . The purchase of potatoes provides an incredible uplifting of spirits throughout the church!. . After these events, our churches are filled with joy and prayers of gratitude and praise.”

Potatoes, Christian AId Ministries
A happy recipient of potatoes in Ukraine

Please pray for families, elderly people, and others in Eastern Europe and Central Asia who find it increasingly difficult to put food on the table. Pray also for the staff members and pastors who distribute the gift of potatoes in Jesus’ name. Thank you and God bless you!


To help support the Potatoes For The Poor program, please click the link to give a one-time gift.

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Potatoes for the Poor

Potatoes, Christian Aid Ministries

“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.

Potatoes, Christian Aid Ministries
Romania

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.

Azerbaijan

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.

Why potatoes?

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.”

Potatoes, Christian Aid Ministries
Romania

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).