Posted on

God Answers Prayer With Firewood

In the village of Glusha, Belarus, grandfather Nikolai is raising two of his orphaned grandchildren. They were grateful to receive a goat in the spring from friends, and now the children happily drink milk.

But then trouble came: The barn that held the goat’s hay caught fire. They managed to extinguish the fire, but Nikolai needed to use the money he had saved for firewood to repair the roof instead. He began to fervently pray to God and thank Him for everything that had happened. And God answered!

He did not leave the orphans in the cold. Brothers from a local church used funds from CAM and bought firewood for Nikolai and his grandchildren.

Thanks to God and our supporters, Nikolai and many others in various countries are finding relief from the cold.


If you wish to help provide firewood, coal, stoves, and heating utilities through the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.

Posted on

Lifting Winter’s Burden

A father in Kazakhstan worried as cold weather approached. He wanted to keep his family warm during the winter months, but that meant he had to borrow money, either to buy coal or to replace the old windows that let cold winds into his house. “We decided to start with the windows,” this father said, “and pray for coal and entrust our need to the Lord.

“We prayed hard together with the children,” he continued. “A short time passed, and God sent the money for the coal. Glory to Him! And my heartfelt thanks to the good, sacrificial friends for their help.”

Winter’s Burden

This father’s dilemma is repeated across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Winter brings increased expenses for many struggling families and individuals. On top of daily expenses like food, housing, and schooling comes the need for heating resources like firewood or fuel. While costs increase during the winter, some job opportunities decrease, especially in rural villages where people depend on crops and livestock for income. Some families resort to heating only one or two rooms in their house, and others borrow money to make it through the winter.

The war in Ukraine compounds these problems. Inside the country, people fear they will need to endure another harsh winter of blackouts, damaged homes, and missiles. In the region surrounding Ukraine, sanctions and inflation leave many people struggling to buy heating fuel, food, and other necessities.

Warm-A-Family

Through the Warm-A-Family program, we respond to winter needs in countries like Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Georgia. CAM staff and contacts purchase and distribute firewood, coal, and stoves. In some cases, we provide funds to pay heating bills or purchase firewood or coal. Follow-up is then done with recipients to ensure they used the funds as intended.

Heating aid impacts a variety of people including large needy families, widowed mothers, and elderly people living alone. Despite their differences, they are united by the burden they carry during winter months and their thankfulness for the help they receive.

One recipient is a family with three young children from a rural village in Kyrgyzstan. The father faces kidney problems. When coal was delivered to this young family’s home, the three children jumped for joy!

In Satbeyev, Kazakhstan, six elderly widows shared how they struggle to keep their apartments heated during the winter. It’s hard enough for them to cover normal food and medical costs with their small pensions. These widows were grateful for funds to help pay their heating bills. They said, “It’s very pleasant to realize that people we don’t know, but are relatives in Christ, have given up something in order to allocate these funds for us. We are very grateful to God!” Although their failing health keeps them from doing much physical work, they invest in the church through diligent prayer.

Vasiliu and Daniela are parents in Romania who received funds to purchase firewood. “It makes such a great difference for us, as we couldn’t afford to buy the needed quantity of firewood,” they wrote. “It was good news and a great relief for us to see that other Christian brothers understand the economic situation in Romania and invest so many resources and energy into addressing our specific needs. We were able to get . . . wood right before the recent snow . . . What a gift this was for us.”

With the ongoing need for heating resources across the world, we are facing large funding needs for the Warm-A-Family program. If you are interested in providing the gift of warmth for needy people in places like Eastern Europe or Central Asia, your support will be a blessing!


To help support the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

Posted on

Ukrainian Widow Depends on God for Firewood

Galia is 76 years old and “living according to God’s mercy,” as she says. This was evident four years ago when her firewood supply was nearly gone. She prayed for firewood as her house grew colder. Shortly afterward, Galia’s pastor called and told her that CAM would supply firewood for her!

Galia grew up in Shpendivka, Ukraine, close to where CAM’s base was later established. After finishing school, she moved away and married.

Although her mother was a believer, Galia did not follow Jesus until she was 40 years old. Her sister invited her to church, where she repented and was baptized. Her husband was not a believer but tolerated her conversion.

Several years later, Galia’s husband died. She now needed to face life alone. “It was hard to be a widow,” she said, “but I knew God still cares for me.”

Later Galia returned to her hometown to take care of her mother. After her mother died, Galia took in an elderly woman. This woman is deaf and unable to walk and requires a lot of care. She is not a believer and wants to die, but Galia urges her to repent before she meets God. Winter brings a heavy set of challenges for Galia. Her monthly pension is around $110. Last year a load of firewood that lasted two to three months cost her over $350. This left her with little to buy medicines and pay the utilities. During difficult financial times like this, she tells God, “I don’t have money, but I have you.”

When Galia has just a bit of firewood left, she puts wood in the stove only in the morning and evening. “God taught me to stretch it,” she says. She testifies that she has never run completely out of firewood because God has always taken care of her.

This year Galia was again grateful for the load of firewood CAM staff delivered. “Thank you very much,” she said. “I need to keep the house warm because [the lady I care for] gets cold.”

Each year we receive many requests for heating aid. Through our supporters’ gifts for the Warm-A- Family program, we provide heating resources in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, and other places. This includes firewood, coal, stoves, and funds to help pay heating bills. This year’s Warm-A-Family budget is $2.5 million, and the need is as great as ever.

To help support the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

Posted on

Warm-A-Family in Romania

Family in Romania, Christian Aid Ministries

In November, a Christian worker who helps distribute funds for Warm-A-Family in Romania shared, “Never in the years I have worked here have I seen the number of tears and . . . gratitude I have seen this year.”

While winter makes us think of fuzzy blankets and walks in the snow followed by steaming cups of cocoa, many poverty-stricken people wonder how they will survive. Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova can experience bitter cold for up to seven months. The cost of living in these countries is high, and heating expenses drain incomes already stretched from providing other necessities.

Ionel and Viorica have seven children to feed and clothe. To warm his mud-walled house during the Romanian winter, Ionel used to make long trips on foot, carrying heavy branches on his back. CAM funds now provided a horse for Ionel, which helps with this task. Before, it would have cost him an entire day’s wage to get a small wagonload of branches hauled from the forest to his house.

Our supporters make it possible to lighten the load for struggling people in Eastern Europe and other places. By providing funds for firewood, coal, stoves, heating utilities, or other items through the Warm-A-Family program, you help bring tears of joy and relief.

To help support the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

Posted on

Where staying warm is not easy 

staying warm, Christian Aid Ministries

As autumn ends and the air turns brisk, many people in Ukraine and other Eastern European countries shiver with dread as they think of staying warm in the harsh winter season ahead.

They might gather twigs and leaves to burn to try to stay warm, but firewood? It is hard to find. Winter has never been easy for Ukrainians. However, this year the heating needs greatly increased because of Russia’s invasion. Pastor  Alexie and his wife are not able to gather wood because of the danger of landmines left behind by the Russian army. The couple is deeply thankful for the firewood that supporters provided through the Warm-A- Family program.

Older folks and widows often face financial difficulties and spend hours preparing for the brutal winter. A handicapped Ukrainian widow, Tanya, lives on $76 a month. She was delighted to receive firewood from CAM so she can warm at least a few rooms of her house.

staying warm, Christian Aid Ministries
Pastor Alexie and his wife in Ukraine

Through the Warm-A-Family program, supporters also help provide stoves, coal, and other heating assistance for people in need. Fortunately, many houses in the villages have small wood stoves that can be used for cooking and heating. For others whose stoves may be too small or worn out to heat well, a gifted stove meets a real need.

Thank you, supporters, for helping people stay warm this winter!

To help support the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

Posted on

Easing the dread of winter in eastern Europe

winter, Christian Aid Ministries

Winter is coming. Imagine living in a poverty-stricken village where temperatures often drop below freezing at night. Biting winds sneak through cracks in the doorways and windowpanes. The cold leaves you shivering, even with a small stove and layers of clothing and blankets.  Scenes like this are a reality for many people. To them, winter brings a sense of dread. How will we stay warm? they wonder. This question hangs heavily over needy families in Kazakhstan, the elderly in Ukraine and Romania, displaced people in Syria, and others in various countries.

Why is winter such a challenge?

For families who already stretch their income to provide food, clothing, and shelter, winter adds a huge hardship. “We have to borrow money to buy wood for the winter this year,” said a Romanian father. Some families gather twigs, plastic, cardboard, or anything else they can burn for heat. Others dress in multiple layers of clothing or huddle under blankets inside their homes. Some keep only one room of their house heated.

The war in Ukraine deepens winter struggles in Eastern Europe.

The conflict is spiking prices of natural gas, firewood, and coal, beyond what most people can afford. Missiles and gunfire have damaged thousands of homes in Ukraine. Because of this many people face the reality of spending winter in badly damaged or windowless homes.   Winter months are especially hard for the elderly. In countries like Romania and Ukraine, many are left alone. Their small incomes barely cover basic needs, much less heating expenses. One elderly Romanian woman tore down her old barn and used the lumber for firewood. Years of hard work have taken their toll on many elderly people, leaving them reliant on others to haul their firewood or coal and split the wood.  Daniela, a Romanian mother, is the primary caretaker of her five youngest children. Her husband abandoned them. He was addicted to alcohol and sometimes beat his family.   Left without a breadwinner, Daniela and her children live in an unfinished house with no kitchen or bathroom. Her limited income hardly covers their daily needs.   Romania’s bitter winters bring even more expenses. In past years, Daniela and her children walked behind a combine at harvest time, picking up leftover corn cobs they later burned for heat.   But this heating option is not always available. “This year, the corn was not harvested because of the drought,” says Daniela, “so we hope in . . . God that He will take care of our wood needs.”

Easing the dread

Each year we receive many requests for heating aid. Through our supporters’ gifts for the Warm-A-Family program, we provide heating resources in Romania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other places. This aid includes firewood, coal, and stoves. We also supply funds that recipients use to buy firewood or pay heating bills.   Last year Daniela, mentioned above, received funds and was able to buy firewood for the first time in years. “My children and I thank you for all the good you do for us,” she said.   George lives in the country of Georgia, located in the Caucasus region. An accident in 2020 left this father of four confined to a wheelchair. because of the accident he is unable to continue his truck- driving job.   “With winter coming, we didn’t have money to buy firewood,” he said. “I was really worried and didn’t sleep at night. I was praying to God . . .” Then George and his family received a truckload of firewood. “Now our house is warm,” he said, “and we’ll have firewood for the winter.”   From Daniela, George, and many other recipients who have felt the warmth of God’s love through your care, thank you! If you would like to help others stay warm this coming winter, your support will be a blessing.

To help support the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

Posted on

Winter’s dread in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, Christian Aid Ministries

Winter temperatures in Kyrgyzstan can dip below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Widows, elderly people, and needy families dread this bitter cold.

“My name is Asya. I’m deaf, and so is my husband,” says a Warm-A-Family recipient. “We have five children and live in a small village in Kyrgyzstan. There are no jobs here and we’re very thankful that you helped us buy coal. God bless you!”

Margaretta* is an elderly widow who cares for two grandchildren. With her meager pension she can’t afford basic needs. She gathers firewood in the forest and uses it to heat her home. She is very thankful for the help she receives through the Warm-A-Family program.

Heating costs are soaring in various impoverished cold-climate countries. In 2022, we anticipate a significant increase in the Warm-A-Family program, with nearly $2 million needed to respond to the many requests. If you wish to help, your support will be a great blessing to many!

*Not her real name

To help support the Warm-A-Family program, please click the button below to give a gift.


Donate

Posted on

Warming families and strengthening faith

long bitter winter

Imagine lacking the simple comfort of a warm house on a wintry night. This scenario is a harsh reality to many Ukrainians. Ukraine is home to long, bitter winters. Temperatures often reach negative 20°F.

Countless families, widows, and other Ukrainians cannot afford to heat an entire house. Instead, they use their small stoves or limited supply of firewood or coal to keep only part of their home above freezing. They wear multiple layers of clothing to keep out the chill. The high cost of firewood and other heating supplies makes it difficult for families and individuals to stretch their incomes to cover heating costs as well as food, clothing, or medical expenses.

Antin* is a Ukrainian father of three young children. He used to travel to Poland to work, but then COVID-19 restrictions kept him from making these trips and cut off his source of income.

Antin’s family faced the question, “What will we do?” Their breadwinner had no job to support them, and winter was coming! The family prayed about their desperate situation, asking God to somehow help them through the upcoming winter.

God used the Warm-A-Family program to meet their needs. When firewood was delivered to Antin’s home, his family exclaimed, “It is a big blessing to receive this help through donors who are fellow believers.”

CAM’s Warm-A-Family program supplies firewood, coal, stoves, and other supplies to keep people warm as winter sets in. Many in Ukraine, Romania, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and other countries face winter with dread, praying for ways to heat their homes. Your support for families like Antin’s strengthens their faith and provides the wonderful gift of warmth.

*Name changed to protect identity

Posted on

Helping a Romanian widow provide for winter

Romanian widow, christian aid ministries

Silvia from Romania received $150 from Warm-A-Family to help buy firewood for the coming winter. This Romanian widow cares for her three mentally handicapped sons. One son is able to do odd jobs for Christian brothers, but the little he earns doesn’t reach around for their food, medicine, and other needs.

Silvia’s husband was electrocuted some years ago while working on an irrigation pump, leaving her without a breadwinner. The family now survives by the mercy of others. Silvia expresses her sincere thanks for the heating funds.

Posted on

Warming those who shiver in Ukraine’s winter

Ukraine’s winter, Christian Aid Ministries

In Ukraine’s brutal winter, snowflakes swirl and icy winds whistle through the window panes of houses. For countless people across Ukraine, winter presents challenges. Families gather small branches, leaves, and other things they can burn to create some heat. Firewood is not easily accessible, since the government owns most of the forests. And gas is too expensive for many needy families to heat their houses properly.

Disadvantaged widows and families keep the temperature in their homes just above freezing to reduce their heating costs. They dress in multiple layers of clothing, even in their houses. Some huddle around small stoves to keep warm. Many elderly Ukrainians spend most of their meager income on medicines, leaving them with little money to cover the high costs of heating.

Through the Warm-A-Family program, CAM helps meet these needs by delivering firewood to needy Christian families and individuals in Ukraine. CAM purchases bagged firewood from a Ukrainian business with authorization to buy trees from the government. This firewood is then delivered to thankful recipients. Each recipient receives two to four tons of firewood, depending on their needs.

Katrya,* pictured, often shuts off her heat during the night to save money. After receiving 100 bags of firewood, this widow exclaimed with tears, “What have I done to deserve this? Praise God for brothers and sisters who gave money to buy this wood!”

*Name has been changed to protect identity.