Happy New Year – at least it is for you and me. I have already received a call from the Middle East with tremendous news of conversions, and tragic reports of suffering and starvation, not only among the masses but also among our people -- our Christian family. The many years of butchering and immediate executions now seem merciful compared to the nonstop torture of having no food, safe water, heat, or blankets. So dire is the situation that two of our young men have already voluntarily sold a kidney to get funds to feed their family and our other believers. Of course, we try to prevent this activity, but they see their mom and dad (if they are still alive) suffering, as well as their little sister and little brother. So what else can they do? If they are young, under the age of fourteen, they can sell one of their kidneys for $17,000. If they are over twenty, they receive $14,000, and the price varies for those between the ages of fourteen and twenty. Imagine your teenage son or daughter having life-changing surgery to feed your church family and provide heating oil for the freezing weather. Logically, you will wonder why the need is so great that such sacrifices are required. Here's one example. In their land, diesel is now $48 per liter, which is $182.00 per gallon, that is the selling price at government stations, but fuel for transportation, heating, etc., is hard to find as most stations are closed; thus, those who can; buy diesel on the black mark for $77 per liter, which is $291 per gallon. We know how "supply chain" interruptions can cause prices to soar, but what we experienced is nothing compared to their situation. Thus, they do what they must, which is why young people sell their kidneys for the value of 52-64 gallons of diesel—two tanks of fuel. Still, with that cash in hand, they can provide food and heating oil, water, and medicine for a few families for a month. We still have three hundred families suffering in this one location. So let me break down the cost for you. For each family of nine to ten people, we need $3.55 per day for one meal each. So for a month, the need for a family is $106.50, and for the anticipated three months, the need is $319.50. It sounds like a lot, but it breaks down to a meager 35¢ per person per day. Do you suppose there is anyone in an American church who cannot afford 35¢ to feed a brother in Christ for one day? If you extrapolate the numbers above, multiplying them by 300 families (which is about 3000 people), the amounts are:
$3.55 per family per day multiplied by 300 families is $1,065 per day
Multiplied by 30 days in a month is $31,950 per month
Multiplied by three months is $95,850 for three months.
Daunting, isn't it? So, let's not concern ourselves with the accumulative need; instead, let's build this house one brick at a time. I want you also to know that it is not just our people who suffer. It is also unbelievers with whom they can share their aid and faith in a meaningful way. We have a command from Christ that speaks to our "opportunities" to help or to serve. An "opportunity" implies a need of which you have both the knowledge of and the ability to alleviate to some degree. So, I leave you with this verse: Galatians 6:10: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especiallyunto them who are of the household of faith. This may be your first opportunity in 2023 to be used by our Lord in an extraordinary way. I pray you will. You can give on this page, or mail in a check and designate it to "300 families"