Each January, SGA partners have generously supported Operation Winter Warmth, which helps provide warm clothing, blankets, electric heaters, and other critically-needed aid to needy families across the former Soviet Union. In winter, temperatures in some regions such as Yakutia and Siberia routinely plunge to double-digits below zero. In Central Asia, wind chills penetrate into homes that often have rugs for front doors.
The elderly, impoverished, and widows are especially vulnerable to suffering, illness, and death.
In Ukraine, where war has raged for almost one full year, bitter winter cold is even more dangerous because so much infrastructure in the country has been destroyed by bombing—fuel lines, roads, pipes, even walls to keep out the freezing temperatures.
Dima is a missionary pastor in Ukraine who has distributed much-needed aid through the SGA-supported Operation Winter Warmth ministry. He recalls the ministry in eastern Ukraine and its impact especially among the elderly . . .
We were blessed in a special way and received much positive feedback from the people. We implemented the ministry in one location, the village of Pervomayskoye. It is a suburb of Donetsk and before the war, its population was 2,200 people. Only 800 people live there now, among them children and a majority of elderly people, with almost all the young people leaving for good.
On the outskirts of the village, there is a checkpoint on the road to the village of Peski, where no access is allowed. It is located along a dead-end road and no one gets there. The mood among the people living there is far from joyful. We identified 210 households from among the most needy, but could have done much more if we had the resources. We arrived in the village, where a crowd of people awaited us. They circled around the van. We delivered a Gospel message and prayed for people. Everyone was very grateful for receiving the warm kits, especially the older generation, as they have spare resources, have to sleep on torn bed sheets, and clothe themselves with old blankets. We delivered food and blankets, and people received it as a gift! Moreover, those who received the kits did not take them only for themselves, but shared some of the items with others in need, and it was exceptional. All the recipient families were very grateful!
In addition to Ukraine, deep needs such as this exist across many regions of the former Soviet Union such as Central Asia—where countries like mountainous Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are located. As this winter continues, please lift up the faithful pastors and churches as they minister to the needs of their people and share Christ’s love. Also pray for the increased resources needed due to the demands created by the war in Ukraine. We praise and thank the Lord for each of you—our faithful partners—and for all that you help accomplish for the glory of Christ!