The Scriptures talk about a number of things that break God’s heart and that stir Him to action. For example, the Bible frequently highlights the needs of the poor and oppressed. James declared, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world“ (James 1:27).
Because of a lack of space, many of the activities of Asia Harvest do not get reported in our newsletters. In our ministry, providing relief for widows and orphans ranks as a high priority, because we see it is a high priority to our Heavenly Father.
Asia Harvest supports numerous initiatives that help persecuted Christians and widows and orphans in need throughout Asia through our Persecution & Relief fund and other projects.
We would like to share some of the testimonies we recently received from people being helped by your loving support.
An Indian Brother in Distress
An urgent message arrived from one of the ministry leaders we support in the great country of India. A 29-year-old engaged evangelist named Arun, who shares the Gospel in the slums of a large city, had fallen seriously ill. He was paralyzed and unable to speak or walk. A doctor diagnosed that he immediately required two replacement heart valves, and that he had suffered two strokes as a result of the lack of medical care in his area.
We joined hands with another ministry, and we each covered half the cost of these urgent operations. The funds we sent came from gifts received for the Persecution & Relief Fund. By the time you read this newsletter, Arun will have undergone surgery. Please pray for this young man’s healing and for his fiancé, that their lives may continue to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
UPDATE: Please pray. Arun had the surgery but was re-admitted to the emergency ward after returning home for a few days. His heart-rate was 180. Doctors are continuing to treat him. Please lift this brother up before the throne of grace in his time of need.
Vietnam Widows in Great Need
The day after we sent assistance for Arun, a batch of applications for the Living Martyrs’ Fund arrived from our co-workers in Vietnam. These letters always touch our hearts. We would like to share just two that we received from elderly widows. We committed to start supporting 20 of these faithful widows immediately, with the loving assistance of concerned believers around the world.
Sister Lily wrote, “I am now 70-years-old. My husband was martyred for Christ while preaching the Gospel many years ago. Since that time I have been alone and at times I feel totally overwhelmed by the needs and difficulties I face. I am greatly encouraged that fellow believers are considering helping my needs in the twilight of my life. This causes me to constantly praise His Name! My greatest joy is to commune with God and to pray for those around the village.”
Another elderly sister, Madeline, wrote, “I am now 85-years of age. My health is deteriorating and I suffer insomnia along with cardio vascular difficulties, partial blindness and worsening memory loss. I will deeply appreciate the funds you send as it will enable me to buy medication and daily food. I miss my husband deeply, and wonder how I could survive if the Lord does not provide my daily needs. Thank you and God bless you!”
Blankets for India
The past winter saw record low temperatures and snowfall across northern India, where we support hundreds of evangelists through the Asian Workers’ Fund. Thousands of people reportedly froze to death in areas not accustomed to such harsh conditions. An urgent request came in, asking us to help provide blankets and relief to 400 vulnerable Christian families and widows. We had the privilege of assisting, and subsequently received dozens of letters of appreciation. Here are a few of them:
“My husband died of cancer a year ago and I have been a widow since. It has been difficult to survive and I do not receive any government assistance. During the brutal winter I sheltered from the cold by covering myself with old rice sacks at night. The sacks were so dirty that they caused me to itch all day. Then I received a lovely warm blanket from you, and my heart was filled with gratitude. I will never forget your grace and love and the difference you have made in my life.” - Hiramani
“I live in a straw hut that is not covered properly as we were unable to make enough straw this past harvest season. Every night the dew fell through the gaps in our roof, and our family suffered great misery due to the bitter cold. Then you made us warm by providing a nice blanket, and you have covered us with your love. Thank you so much for your generous gift.” - Jhitri
“I have no income or government assistance, but with four little grandchildren to take care of, my burdens are very heavy. When the cold weather arrived I couldn’t bear to see the little ones suffer so I have them all my warm clothes. After that I had a very pathetic time in the cold. Even sitting near the fire seemed to make no difference. Then your blanket arrived. It made me so happy. Thank you!” - Premsila
“I am a widow who lost my husband last year. This winter was terribly cold, and I did my best to gather sticks to put on the fire at night. I was much more concerned about keeping the fire alive than eating food. I didn’t know if I would survive, and I fluctuated between life and death due to the miserable conditions. Then when I received a lovely warm blanket from you my tears rolled down my cheeks. Thank you so much for your love.” - Suabati
We want to thank the many people who have prayed and given to our projects. We hope these letters are an encouragement to you. We feel so blessed that God has connected us with Christians who have a desire to make a difference in people’s lives.
It always amazes us how many lives can be impacted by so little investment. The 400 blankets we provided in India cost a total of $1,300 — just $3.25 each!