Central Asia

Elina moves from poverty to providing

Elina’s life was crumbling into pieces – her happy marriage had ended with the death of her husband and she was no longer able to provide for her family. Working as a cashier at public toilet, the 50p that Elina made each day was never enough to cover her family’s most basic necessities.

Poverty and hunger consumed their lives until one day the Lord intervened through a local church empowered by Raising Families. Elina learned how to utilise her talents and assets to create a livelihood sewing blankets that generates meaningful income. With this money, she was able to participate in a loan group that enabled her to open a fruit stand to further supplement her livelihood. Elina was also able to purchase a sewing machine to further develop her business. Today, the widow can now provide for her children, who are nutritiously-fed, in school and living together in a safe home.

So moved by the transformation that took place in her life, Elina decided to start helping other vulnerable families and joined the churches Raising Families programme to help others. Elina mentors four families, all single mothers, in how to create self-sufficient livelihoods. By Raising Families like Elina’s, to a brighter future, you are empowering them to raise more families within their community.

Elina, who has experienced both physical and spiritual transformation, shares why she has a passion to help others: “I was suffering from hunger and you brought me the Good news of Jesus, now I want to bring Good news to other poor people saying that there is hope in life.”

30 chickens, three goats, and a bustling business

Nora was a middle aged woman raising two children on her own when she met Erandal, a single father of four whose wife had abandoned their family.

Erandal’s life had fallen apart before his eyes and he began drinking away his small income as he slumped further and further into depression. Nora’s heart ached with sadness for Erandal and his children, who were often left home alone sometimes without food and proper clothes.

Erandal quit drinking and he and Nora married with hopes that their situation would improve. Their situation only grew more critical as they realised that a larger family meant it was harder to provide for their basic necessities. Erandal’s work as a shepherd brought in £40 each month and their family found themselves living in a dilapidated, dark and damp house.  Nora had been unable to work for years due to damage to her spinal cord. Their family was desperate to make a living that earned enough to feed their large family, to buy better clothing and to pay for school supplies.

Nora and Erandal raise their children responsible and caring for each other. When Samaritan’s Purse first met Nora, she explained, “the children help me at home, looking after each other, also they try to help us to improve the financial situation; I make patties with potatoes and they sell them in the local market, but it’s still not enough.”

Local church volunteers, who were apart of the Raising Families programme, knew they could help improve this family’s desperate situation.  To alleviate immediate needs, the children were provided with food, clothing, shoes, stationery for school and even a few small Christmas presents.

Church volunteers worked with Nora and Erandal to identify way for their family to make a living. Nora was eager to learn how she could raise livestock as a means to provide for her family.

Nora’s family received 30 chickens and three goats to start their new business. Their family learned to grow chickens, which provided nutritious food for themselves as well as eggs to sell in the market.

In immense gratitude, Nora shared, “My family is stronger now. We can provide for ourselves. I believe that Jesus loves us and cares for us. Thank you for your support and thank you for being faithful to your God; we see His mercy through your ministry.”

Defying disability, Hannah learns how to provide for her family. 

One Sunday in 2013, Hannah went to a church service where her life was forever changed. The church she attended participates in Raising Families and church members immediately noticed her vulnerable state as a single mother. Full of despair, Hannah’s £20 a month disability pension was not enough to provide for her and her 6-year-old son, Michael. Living in a rundown one-room apartment with a little furniture, severe poverty had trapped Hannah’s hopes for a bright future. Through Raising Families, Hannah learned about goal setting and how she can tangibly pursue a better life for herself.

Hannah’s first goal was to increase her income to £50 per month. Church members prayed with Hannah and helped her prepare for and pursue job opportunities. A month later Hannah exceeded her goal when she got a job at local school washing the floors and her monthly income increased to £95. Hannah is now able to take great care of both her son and herself, and they now attend church regularly and have a restored faith in God and themselves.

Hannah says, “Now I have trust in God and His Word; He would never leave me or forsake me, He loves me and cares for me and my son We are not lonely anymore. It helps me to change my attitude on life and people.”