2023 OCTOBER THE KIDS WILL HEAR THE GOSPEL
I was just reading about one of the children we are caring for in Mexico and how she used to have to dig through garbage cans to find food. She lived in a home where she was never sure when she would be hurt next, and often afraid to go to sleep, not knowing how many men might be allowed into her room that night. I am very thankful that she is now under the care of Far Reaching Ministries (FRM), where she is able to go to a dining room every evening to have a warm meal and then be able to crawl into bed and sleep knowing that she is safe.
Poverty can be a terrible thing, leaving one to wonder how to provide for their family. Almost all the women we work with in Mexico and Central and South America are single and not by choice. Most have been abandoned by their husbands, who left them for another woman. Being abandoned can do terrible things to a woman’s sense of worth. When a mother cannot provide for her children’s basic needs, the stress is too much for her to carry. Sending your children to bed without enough food to eat is a terrible burden to bear. This Christmas, we want to carry this burden by providing families in Mexico and Ukraine with enough food to get them through winter and for the children to find a new toy and clothing under the tree come Christmas.
Every year we have Christmas parties for the children, and most have never had a new toy. At each gathering, we host a couple hundred kids, and we have a big celebration with bouncy houses for the kids to jump in and all kinds of games. Witnessing how excited the children get is wonderful to watch. Next, we provide lunch with hotdogs covered in jalapenos and onions with mustard and ketchup, which is a real treat for the kids.
We also serve soup, chips, and salsa, and then cake and ice cream. The happiness among the children brings me real joy. It is not just the children’s smiles, but also the mothers when you see their relief knowing that their child will not go without. Most importantly, the kids hear the Gospel through the Christmas story, and many come to know Christ. With Christmas coming, we are preparing for two large outreaches. The first is for the children in and it is also the time of year when we work to provide enough food for the elderly in Ukraine to get them through winter. With the war in Ukraine having gone on for almost two years, many of the elderly are no longer getting their pension. A good pension in Ukraine used to be about $190 (USD) a month, but if you are still fortunate enough to receive one, it is now closer to $140 (USD). This winter, we want to make sure that we can keep many of the elderly from having to go through garbage cans looking for a meal. We are also going to be doing the same for children in Ukraine.
I remember walking through Eastern Europe many years ago and getting on the Metro, where you would always find many gypsies begging and very old women standing in the cold. I was coming through one of the undergrounds when I saw a very old woman leaning against the wall with a cup, hoping someone would drop a few coins in it. Her head was hanging down from fatigue, and I could see the misery in her face. The snow just outside was coming down and creating a funnel of cold wind blowing where she was standing. It was about nine o’clock in the evening, and the reason she was still at the Metro was that she had not gotten enough money to feed herself that day. While I am sure she would have loved to have been at home in a warm bed, the circumstances of her life did not permit. I walked up and handed her 1,000 rubles, which I suspect no one had ever done before. Her head slowly came up, and she looked at me in amazement. I spoke the few words of the language that I knew and told her that God loved her, and so did I. The next night, when I traveled through the Metro, she was not there. I never saw her again, but I suspect the money gave her a few days of much needed rest. She was probably just an old, lonely, tired woman, but the Bible tells us some of us will have unknowingly entertained angels or the Lord Himself.
This Christmas, we are asking our faithful donors to once again provide basic items to those in need. It will cost about $300 for each elderly person, mostly grandmothers, with enough food to get them through winter. In addition to the elderly, we will also be providing for children and orphans in Ukraine. For children in Ukraine, for $100, we can purchase food, a toy, and new winter boots. For each celebration in Mexico and Central America, the cost to provide Christmas for a child is about $50. For this amount, we are able to provide a Christmas toy and warm blanket along with a Christmas meal. In addition, we are hoping to purchase 700 new winter jackets for children in Ukraine. We want to be ready when there is a child in need and providing them with a jacket in the cold winter months is a blessing. If we purchase them in bulk, they will cost approximately $25,000. We also want to inform you that FRM just delivered an entire plane load of medical supplies to the Nuba Mountains, where heavy fighting has been going on. The Nubians have been desperate for everything, and FRM has flown many plane loads in to bring relief. Unfortunately, they must rely on others to meet basic needs, and we will continue to try to meet those needs. Our guys landed and shared Christ just a week ago, and one of the soldiers who gave his life to the Lord was killed a week later in the fighting, but thankfully, he is with the Lord.
Far Reaching Ministries