Armenia. Day after day, Greta waits for her husband to send money from Russia. She begs her landlord to postpone the rent payment. But her husband does not make money, and so the patience of her landlord is at an end, and Greta is near to despair. The day comes when she stands with her four children in the street. Someone tells her that a living container has been vacated in the Tincar village on the outskirts of Vanadzor. In order to have at least one roof over her head, she goes there with her children. The container has only a small tin stove, which must be fired with wood, so that it can boil and its children have it warm. If the fire goes out, it quickly becomes very cold in the small hut. Greta and her children try to gather some wood in the forest, but it is far too little to keep their dwelling warm all day. Greta saves food from her mouth and tries to be strong for her children. At night she squeezes her children, trying to keep each other warm. For hours she is awake, she can not sleep from cold and sorrow. How should we go on?
All this was four years ago. When Greta Aslikian entered the “Karadok”, the village, she asked for a food package. Her husband, Artur, returned to his family shortly afterwards with empty hands from Russia. Nobody had given the artisan work and wages. In the summer he can sometimes work on a construction site, but in winter there is no work. Our colleague, Karina Katchatrian, invited Greta to the Women’s Bible Circle. “Greta did not believe in God. She was completely desperate. Thanks to the donors in Germany, we were able to give Greta a food package every month. Now she has at least every month noodles, rice, oil, sugar and detergents for her children. This winter it is very cold again almost every year. We had nights with 25 degrees minus – the cold for the people in the container village is bad. Many have become ill. We have spent over 100 families of wood and blankets for families. The Aslikian family saved our lives. ”
Greta sits with some other women in the “church container” as they call him and together they sing to God. He has become the only hope for many here. They had to experience that people can not help. Greta was invited to the church by Karina Katchatrian. She is not missing a Sunday. She has begun to pray and experience how God listens to her prayers. That she is supported by bread of life, she sees as help from God.
Her 8-year-old Wresch Aslikian was able to convey bread of life as a godfather. For food, wood and ceilings, Greta and Artur Aslikian heartfelt thanks to our donors: “We were in the end and now we are full of hope that everything will be fine. God bless you – thank you! ”
With volunteers from southern Germany, we distributed food in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 1500 poor families got food for Christmas.
Christmas gifts were given to 3,000 children. Previously they had been lovingly packed in Germany by numerous small and large donors. Nearly half of these were collected in schools, kindergartens and churches in the Ulm region in November 2016. The children’s parcels and basic foodstuffs were distributed in and around Brcko and at Tuzla to distressed people.
One empty wheelbarrow after another lined up at the edge of the road. There are people chattering, some have taken their own carriages. They are mainly old people, who have a strenuous walk behind them. Some have come with a horse cart or a tractor. All wait patiently despite the negative grades for the transport from Germany. The food is a great help for people who have no income and only need to live on a small pension.
Since the Yugoslavian war more than 20 years ago, BdL has been arriving in the region shortly before Christmas with relief supplies. “Year after year, we hope that the life situation of the people here has improved so much that we do not have to come any more. But every time we are scared of how hard the people in the mountains are fighting for their daily survival, “says Drago Simeunovic from Bernstadt. The chairman of BdL has been organizing and supporting the transport from Ulm for several years.
The loading flaps of the truck open and the people push closer. The local chief calls the receivers one by one. They turn out and receive their package from the employees of bread of life. Prior to this, a list of the needy was prepared with the authorities in the individual locations. Drago Simeunovic tells them that 50% of Bosnians are officially unemployed. The rest is filled with minijobs or as a day laborer. A woman speaks a little German and says that in the summer she works as a harvester on cucumber and strawberry fields. In the winter, she found no work, so she was glad and grateful about any help.
When distributing goods, the Christian-humanitarian service does not make a difference between Christians and Muslims. “We help people in need of subsistence,” says Drago Simeunovic. They also visit a Roma settlement where extreme poverty and distress prevail. The pastor who oversees the settlement reports: “I wonder how people dispute their livelihood, they have no income and no social benefits. But they do not moan, but are glad that peace prevails. The politicians of the various ethnic groups who live here in Bosnia-Herzegovina are looking for the best for their people. Muslim Bosnians, Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats are always threatening each other with war. ”
After 10 days, the volunteer team returned to Germany with the empty trucks. “In this difficult situation, we have met deeply grateful people. Many have emphasized the importance of the aid and our annual return, “says Drago Simeunovic and his colleagues. “But especially the children were happy, who broke out loudly in every school when we advanced. We are very grateful that our donors from the Enzkreis helped us with this action again. ”
Helping people to be on their own feet sooner rather than later, that is the motto of Brot des Lebens.
Sometimes, however, this assistance may be necessary for many years. Then children or families, who are in extreme need, must be accompanied. Sponsorships are such companions.
For the Romanian family Marcu in Bran we are urgently looking for godparents.
On 12 December 2015 Vasile and his wife Alexandra painted the walls in their house. The two together have six children: Cristian, Maria, Sabina, David and Paul attend the school and their youngest daughter Debora goes to kindergarten. In order to bring the house to Vordermann shortly before Christmas, all of them helped diligently. In the whole family there was anticipation, which turned with a single time: That evening father Vasile died suddenly suddenly after the strokes, at a heart stroke. When we heard about the disaster, we visited the family. Mother Alexandra is with the nerves at the end. Again and again she cries, during our conversation. She is worried because she does not know how to fight the next days and weeks. Because their children are still small, they are needed at home and can not go to work. Their only income is the child allowance, which is not enough. She hopes to receive retirement from the deceased father of her children. But this is still far too little. If she does not receive any help, the children have to leave the school and can not take any training. Alexandra would break her heart. We would like to support this family. Our Romanian employee writes: “It would be a heavenly help for Alexandra and her six children if we could find godparents for them.” With a sponsorship, you support this family and make a significant contribution to improving your living conditions. Alexandra would no longer be alone, through her regular support and prayers. She would be fortunate to have a sponsor family in Germany to support her. Through a sponsorship, she is provided with food, hygiene articles, school material and clothes. You can also sponsor in Armenia, Serbia or Bosnia. If you are interested, we will be happy to present your sponsored child, a family or an impoverished grandmother. You can also find more information on our homepage www.brot-deslebens.org – it’s definitely worth it.