Danil stood on the platform with a microphone to his lips, talking to a crowd of villagers sitting in red plastic chairs underneath the shade of a makeshift tent. They had been waiting for this day. These were men, women and their children who desperately needed help. Danil closed his eyes and prayed into the mic for them. Today would mark the first day of their changed lives.
In the region where GFA-supported pastor Danil and his wife ministered, life was difficult. A lack of job opportunities and education led to deep-rooted poverty. Men and women, sometimes with infants in tow, did the backbreaking work of hauling firewood from the forest or laboring as farmhands. Even then, they barely earned enough money to sustain their families.
Many of the adults hadn’t ever gone to school, so very few taught their children the value of education. Even for children who wanted to learn, they would have to walk a few miles to the nearest school.
With a lack of education, many people also lacked understanding of health and hygiene. In some places, people fetched their water from the nearest river or pond—the same place where they bathed their livestock, took baths and washed their clothes and dishes. Many people contracted typhoid or other waterborne illnesses because of drinking impure water.
Seeing people’s practical needs, he arranged for Christmas gift distribution events to benefit people in his region. Through simple gifts like bicycles, livestock and sewing machines, people glimpsed future beyond never-ending poverty.
Rajbir, a farmer, used to carry all the vegetables from his field to market on his back. When he received a bicycle at a Christmas gift distribution Pastor Danil helped organize, he was overjoyed.
“The Lord has been so gracious to me. … Now I can carry all my vegetables from my garden to the market on this bicycle,” he said. “I will be able to carry more in quantity. … I also will be able to take my children to school.”
Paul struggled to provide for his wife and three children. Although he had received training in tailoring, he could never save up enough money to buy a sewing machine. Then he received a sewing machine at the same Christmas gift distribution.
“I am planning to set a small tailoring shop in the market in my village so that I will be able to stitch pants and shirts,” Paul said, full of excitement. “ … With this machine, I believe, my bad days are going to end.”
As people like Rajbir and Paul receive gifts that will help them sustain their families, Pastor Danil has seen them realize that there is Someone who is deeply concerned for them.
“I am happy that the Lord answers our prayers; He meets all our needs,” said Damisi, who received a cow and a calf. “ … Even though my husband is still new in the Lord—he has recently come to know the Lord—I believe that these things will make our faith stronger. Now our financial condition is going to be much better. I am going to thank the Lord my whole life.”
Each income-generating Christmas gift not only shares hope with a family but also makes a ripple effect on the local community. You can impact entire communities by providing Christmas gifts to help families in need.