This man uses firewood to keep himself warm during the cold months, but for some living in India, firewood is a luxury.

It has been an unnaturally cold winter for people living in India. Temperatures have dropped below seasonal norms. In just 24 hours, 22 people living in Uttar Pradesh, India, died because of the bitter chill.

Most Indian homes do not have central heating, which causes the cold to be felt much more keenly in the northern regions of the country.

News sources indicate that in Uttar Pradesh alone, 506 people have already lost their lives. Most victims are reported as homeless, poor or elderly, with only thin clothing and blankets to protect them against the extreme temperatures.

Recorded temperatures in one city varied from 25 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit, and forecasts predict temperatures in the 40s and low 50s for the next 10 days.

Gospel for Asia–supported missionaries report that some deaths have occurred near Bridge of Hope centers in Uttar Pradesh. They ask for prayer that God would protect people, including the Bridge of Hope children and their families, from the extreme cold. They also request prayer for the missionaries and pastors serving the Lord in these harsh winter conditions, that their lives would be protected as they minister to those in need.