WINTER IS COMING
For those reading this newsletter who live in parts of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, you could say that Winter has already come! Over our recent Thanksgiving weekend, the snow was blowing in many parts of western Canada. Let’s pray that this was just an aberration from the weatherman, and not an indication of what this coming winter will be like. Still, I remember someone saying it’s a Canadian distinctive to talk about the weather … and there’s data now to back this up. A report by Influence Communication in 2014 analyzed all major news stories and found that sports (hello, hockey!) and weather-related news dominate our Canadian headlines. Canada – home of weather extremes and intense storms from coast to coast; it’s no surprise that we’re constantly scanning the forecast! Imagine a snowy winter’s day (or even a sharp, chill wind blowing on a clear day). Now imagine walking around outside, wearing a thin jacket that’s more suitable for spring-like conditions, but the temperature is 8° C and falling. Oh, and imagine this scenario while wearing cheap cotton or plastic running shoes, and no socks. Are you suitably chilled yet? Does this make you want to turn your heat up? What if your thermostat didn’t work, or even more dire, you didn’t have such a thing as a thermostat attached to a furnace, and had to burn wood or peat to keep your home warm? You’ve just imagined what it is like in Eastern Europe as the year draws to a close, and the cold season begins. Mission Without Borders is working, even now, to stockpile clothing and footwear, bedding, and heating materials so that many of those affiliated with our programs – and many more besides - can stay warm through the coming winter. WINTER IN UKRAINE Winter is a frightening time for the vulnerable and disadvantaged in Ukraine. They simply cannot afford to pay the bills to keep their families warm. Ukrainians will once again feel the bite of winter even deeper than usual, as gas and fuel prices continue to soar to six times their value as a result of the conflict with Russia in the eastern part of their country.
Thanks to wonderful supporters such as yourself, MWB is able to carry out Operation Winter Rescue, an annual campaign which helps people survive the winter by providing heating materials (such as coal, firewood and peat), plus warm clothes and footwear.
The Zakrevskas were one such family with urgent needs last winter. Andriy and Mariya have six children (their new baby is not pictured), and live in an old three room house, with an outside toilet and no bathroom. Andriy did his best to create a small place in their kitchen for a shower, but it in no way fits their needs. Due to a spinal illness, Andriy struggles to find work and earns only about $50 US per month. They also recently received the crushing news that four-year-old Karina has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
The family's MWB coordinator, Pavlo [pictured with the family, in the black jacket] said: “It is hard enough for this family, let alone having the health issues they are now facing. We are here to support them materially and emotionally, and to alleviate their stress as much as possible.” “We cannot use our gas boiler,” Andriy says, “as the prices are completely unaffordable. The Mission coming to us with alternative heating materials is so important. Without your support, the burden and stress would be too much. You cannot imagine what kind of relief it is for me as a man who has to provide for his family.”
who looks after the woods nearby knows the family’s situation, and occasionally allows the father to collect wood just to keep his family warm. “God has always provided for us and we have nothing to complain about. We pray & trust that He knows our needs and will take care of us. You [MWB] have helped us greatly. Just receiving new shoes, warm clothes and blankets makes our day … it really makes a difference. We know there are many people like us in the world and we do not expect to be the only ones helped, but we appreciate everything.”
WINTER IN ROMANIA The Stan family is comprised of parents Cristian & Ionela, and their six children. They live in a two room house which is poorly furnished. The floor is cement, covered with pieces of dirty old carpet. One of the rooms doubles as the kitchen, where the mother cooks during winter time. There is no bathroom, they use an outside toilet. They are not connected to water, gas or electricity. One of their neighbors felt sorry for the children because they were not able to do their school homework, and allowed them to illegally connect through a wire to his electricity supply. This way, they have electricity for lights, and pay a small sum to the man when they can.
The community they live in is not very large, and there are many poor people residing there. When it rains, the streets get muddy, which makes it difficult for people to get around. As you can see in the picture to the left, the children’s shoes were old, broken and muddy. The new ones we delivered brought joy to their lives. Everyone in the family also received a beautiful blanket which will keep them from catching a cold. The mother said, “It’s only God’s grace that the children didn’t get sick from the freezing temperatures last year. It would have been almost impossible for me to get them treatment due to the lack of money.” OLD SHOES!
Both parents are unemployed, and their only cash income is the children’s state allowance (about $66 US a month). Mr Stan mostly works the land; with his horse and cart, he transports sand & fertilized dirt for the neighbors, and makes a little money that way to buy bread for his family. The parents cannot provide even the minimum necessary school items for their children, but thanks to the Mission, everyone received fully-equipped backpacks filled with much -needed school supplies for the new school year. They use wood for heating, but it takes a lot to keep a home warm through the winter. Therefore, they are forced to burn cloth or whatever other materials they can find. The forester
Many Eastern Europeans still use wood both for heating and cooking. Without it, many fear the long winter months through to spring. A cost break-down on some of the items provided for in our Operation Winter Rescue campaign are as follows … Wood for Fuel = $95 Hot Meals for 1 month = $60 A set of Bed Linens = $30
Please know, whatever amount you can give will be most appreciated. Funds will be used where they are most needed so that families can stay warm, well nourished and healthy through the winter season.
And give a thought to those who are homeless and on the streets this winter, many elderly and dependent on waste bins or whatever they can scrounge to stay alive. We reach out to them with Soup Kitchens, health clinics, dental care, clothing, blankets, and food parcels … whatever is needed to sustain them throughout the long cold winter. Your donation goes so far, and helps so much as we work to find long-term, sustainable solutions for disadvantaged families and individuals in Eastern Europe.
MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS CANADA
Give what you can today, and THANK YOU!
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Bonnie Borowetz SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS CANADA EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org