It was her time. The baby was coming. She entered the 3-room medical clinic, sheltered only by the mud walls and the thatched roof. Through a small window provided light, the missing panes of glass left her exposed in the frigid breeze.
In a nearby schoolhouse, students were learning to read while the same icy wind blew in through their small window. Each of them wore jackets, boots, hats, gloves and scarves to stave off the shivers that attack at an elevation of 9000 feet.
In this area of Central Asia, we experience winter temperatures eight months of the year. But the people and their communities are poor, leaving women to deliver their babies, children to learn and doctors and teachers to work in the extreme cold.
That’s why God moved us to start a ministry of compassion—manufacturing and installing heating stoves—in mountain villages. People struggle in the cold. A small heating stove can help doctors and nurses do their jobs in a mountain clinic. It can give their patients comfort. A classroom with heat helps rural teachers capture the attention of their students. Providing heat for their bodies is an avenue for providing gospel warmth for their souls. That’s what a stove can do.
After we installed one of our stoves, a man invited us to his home to share a meal. During that time together, we talked to him and his family about Jesus and the amazing gift He offers all mankind. Before leaving, we asked if we could pray for them. This man opened up about the addiction and pain in his life. And so we prayed. A month later he invited us back to his home to share that he had been sober for several weeks. He invited us back to share more words of life.
In another village we met a Soviet era doctor facing a health crisis. He had a cyst on his brain and was scheduled for a surgery to remove it. He told us there was little chance he would survive the procedure. He allowed us to pray for him. Only a few weeks later we got word that he had survived and was listening to the audio Bible we gave him as he recovered in a hospital bed.
Would you pray for us as God provides these opportunities while we work? And would you pray about contributing to the cost of making and installing these stoves throughout this part of Central Asia?