Africa and Asia are home to millions of people who are entrenched in generations of poverty. Many families live hand to mouth, which leaves few opportunities for them to improve their financial situation or offer their children any other future.
Many of these people have very low social status, which leads to discrimination, degradation and shame. Other groups that face similar rejection include widows, single mothers and people suffering from leprosy.
It is among precious people like these that GFA missionaries are ministering. Through your gift from GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog, the outcast, poor and rejected are receiving practical assistance and God’s deep love. A simple poverty-alleviating gift can enable a family to rise out of the trenches of destitution and hopelessness—just like it did for Taden.
Taden’s father died when he was just a small boy. His death not only created a hole in their family unit, but it plunged them into a state of financial crisis. Young Taden and his mother cultivated the land they owned, leaving the boy with no opportunity to go to school. Their survival was dependent on his toil—his situation mirrored that of more than 200 million children worldwide who are involved in labor.1 Much of Taden’s childhood consisted of trying to make ends meet, but he came up dry. Sometimes crops didn’t produce enough, and this caused one financial tragedy after another.
When Taden grew older, he married, and he and his wife were blessed with two children. Taden continued to labor in fields around his village with barely anything to show for his backbreaking work. It was as if all his efforts were one single drop in the midst of a vast ocean of needs and wants.
Though Taden was doing all he could, working multiple jobs, he felt helpless to provide for his family and mother. He never gained ground on their desperate poverty. He was then faced with a difficult decision: Stay in their village and watch his family starve, or deprive his children of education and a stable home to keep them alive.
Taden and his family, like many in his region, traveled to a neighboring country to live and work for six months out of the year in sugarcane fields. The conditions were primitive—no toilet facilities, no home, no privacy and no school. The future for his children looked as bleak as his own childhood. The toil of poverty slowly stole away Taden and his family’s peace and joy.
It was during the off months of the sugarcane fields that Taden encountered a glimmer of hope through a message of peace. GFA pastor Naimish visited Taden and his family one day to ask if they needed prayer and to offer encouraging words. Taden shared his life story, marked by poverty and hardship, with the man of God.
Pastor Naimish could see the family was burdened by the weight of survival. He shared with them about the One who gives hope and new life to weary souls. Taden and his family felt truth penetrate their hearts.
Faith in Jesus began to anchor the family, while a hopeful future stretched before them. A peace that poverty had stolen swooshed in as new life began to change Taden and his family. The God who clothes lilies and keeps His eyes on the sparrow was taking care of this family, and they started trusting Him to provide in their lack.
The following year, Taden was invited by Pastor Naimish to attend a GFA Christmas gift distribution program. Through the love and care of people across the globe who had provided gifts through GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog, Taden and his family received a cow.
As the cow grew, the family’s joy grew along with it. It was providing more than four liters of milk a day, and they were able to make and sell ghee, a type of butter, each month. The profit they made from this liberated them from the harsh conditions of poverty.
Because of this, Taden’s children were able to get a consistent education. Their future not only blossomed full of new life, but their new source of income also paved the way to escape poverty through education.
The family’s joy doubled as their cow gave birth to a calf, and the income from these two cows relieved burdens the family carried for many years.
“We came to know the true love of Jesus in our lives,” Taden said. “He has removed all our burdens and sorrows.”