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The Need for Winter Coverings

“It gets so cold at night, I wish we had thicker blankets,” 12-year-old Dawa Phunchok Lama (AFP)

 

At the end of December into January, I will be leading a team from the US to Nepal. Please pray for the team going. One of the things we will be doing that is of great need (in fact more than ever this year and right now) is providing warm winter coverings. It is sad to note that the government in Nepal has not yet released funds to rebuild homes devastated by the earthquake back in April. (Many also don’t realize there have been close to 400 aftershocks since the first earthquake!). One million people were displaced. Half a million homes destroyed. And now winter is here. Hundreds, if not thousands, in Northern India and Nepal die every year because of the cold and lack of sufficient coverings or any heating systems in their homes. With many people surviving under a tent, tarp, tin sheet, or whatever shelter they can find, this year the toll will be even higher. Unfortunately the most vulnerable are children and elderly. Should we not continue to serve those affected and in need?

A secular newspaper wrote back in the summer (and quoted from a man) in a particular village ServeNow actually provided aid to following the earthquake: The village of Sindhupalchowk, is in the district worst hit by the earthquake. People there have survived the monsoon living in tin shacks, but now face the prospect of enduring a freezing winter in their temporary shelters. “We don’t have warm clothes. The water drips into our sheds,” said Hare Bahadur Bharati, 59. “Those who will survive, will survive; those who will die, will die.” (The Guardian).

On top of this, our National Director in Nepal just informed us: “Due to the scarcity of fuel and other supplies, the cost of clothing and blankets is going up. Nonetheless, we are receiving requests for more warm clothes and blankets for vulnerable people. The local Government authority of Kaule Village Development Committee has requested us to provide blankets for more than 400 marginalized people. People are suffering with the cold winter.”

It takes so little to make such a big difference. Every $10 we are able to provide a warm blanket, hats, socks, gloves and jacket. $10 can literally and physically save a life this winter. And it is also a powerful way to show and share God’s love. I recently got back from a trip to India where we provided these same winter coverings to those in need in Northern India. It was a moving experience to wrap blankets around children and adults. We shared with them that it was not just a blanket being wrapped around them, but God’s love for them.

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I challenge you…take a moment to go to our donation page and give a gift of at least $10 (Provide Winter Coverings Now!). This is something we all can do. It doesn’t cost us much but it can make all the difference for those who will receive them. Recently, while I was traveling within the US, I stayed at a place where the heat was not working that particular night. I have never been colder! But the blankets and clothes I had made a big difference and brought home to my heart that night how important this is. We have so much…yet there are so many who lack even the most simple of things we so often take for granted. Make a difference in someone’s life this winter. Make a difference today. As our name puts it: Serve Now; Procrastinate Later!

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“We have limited food stocks…But most of all, I worry about the cold and its impact on my kids,” school headmaster Mukti Adhikari said. “It’s too difficult for them to go home, so we keep them here, but now I am worried they will freeze to death since no one has adequate clothing or proper bedding,” (AFP).

 

You can read more (and see a recent video) of ServeNow’s “Winter Covering” ministry by clicking here.

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