|The potato harvest in Bulgaria ~ Food that can change lives!|
It's been a familiar refrain for me lately--that I don't want to be all talk, I want to do something to share my faith, take a stand, make a difference. And I know I'm not alone in this. But all too often, we ask...but what?
I have a what. And I'm excited about it. =)
I've talked a bit before about friends of the family who have been traveling as missionaries to Bulgaria for the last 20 years. Right now they're in the planning stages for a permanent move to Bulgaria, so they can serve the community of Romas (the gypsy people) they love like their own. Well, last week they got some news with the potential to devastate this community--their crop of potatoes had been harvested, but the market had bottomed out. They had no buyers. What were they going to do?
Our friend, Mike, had been praying about the situation, and talking with friends in the field. Friends ministering to another group in that region in desperate straits--the refugees fleeing ISIS. Tens of thousands have come into this region in the last year, running for their lives. Many are Christians. Some are "not Muslim enough" (read: extremist). All are in a dire situation, living in camps and not sure where their next meal will come from.
The refugees need food for the families.
The Romas need to sell their crop to support their families.
The solution is pretty clear--the Romas can send their potatoes to the refugee camps, solving both problems. But that requires us.
I'm so incredibly thrilled to have a tangible way to help! This is something I can relate to: potatoes. They cost $300 a ton, including transportation to the refugee camps. $300 to feed hundreds of people.
I spend that on my family's groceries in a couple weeks. Kinda puts it in perspective.
But our donations can make a very real, very direct difference in all these lives. And it's not a donation to some huge organization, where I have no clue if my money is actually helping or just paying for mailings that get tossed. Absolutely 100% of funds raised (after the fees of the site hosting our fundraiser) will go toward this mission.
It's officially being hosted by the non-profit my husband started recently, ARM (Appalachian Relief Mission ~ an ARM outstretched) in conjunction with our friends' organization, Roma Missions International. Both have new websites with not a lot on them yet, but you're welcome to check them out. www.AnArmOutstretched.com | www.RomaMissions.org
I can't imagine being forced from my home to keep my family from being slaughtered by extremists--but that's the plight of these refugees.
I can't imagine growing up in a country where talking of faith, of God, was illegal--but that's what these Roma farmers faced until the fall of communism at the end of the 20th century.
Let's make a difference. Let's feed some people. You can find the GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/zyrq3s