Compassion Uplifts Weary Communities

Kanak 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. Kanak closed his eyes and prayed into the mic for them. Today would mark the first day of their changed lives.

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Compassion Uplifts Weary Communities

Pastor Kanak organized a gift distribution for those in his community

Lives Full of Struggles

In the region where GFA-supported pastor Kanak 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.

Compassion Uplifts Weary Communities

Many of the villagers in Pastor Kanak's village hauled firewood to make money for their families.

For more than 10 years, Pastor Kanak watched the people around him struggling.

“It pains me to see them suffering. … I wish I could bring changes in their lives,” he said.

That compassion led Pastor Kanak to action. He committed himself to showing them how much Christ loves them. He took the time to talk with people and often prayed for those facing hardships.

“When I see all these problems that these people [are] going through, I not only pray for them, but I also try to help them,” Pastor Kanak said.

Compassion Uplifts Weary Communities

Pastor Kanak regularly visits people who are sick and prays for their healing.

Simple Gifts, Powerful Impact

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 Kanak helped organize, he was overjoyed.

Compassion Uplifts Weary Communities

Rajbir, a farmer, received a bicycle which he will use to take vegetables to the market.

“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 Kanak has seen them realize that there is Someone who is deeply concerned for them.

Compassion Uplifts Weary Communities

Damisi received a cow and a calf to help provide for her family.

“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.

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