International Disaster Relief
Restoring a Single Mother’s Home in Ukraine
2 June 2023
Samaritan’s Purse worked together with partners to make a single mother’s battle-damaged home habitable again.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus calls us to love our neighbours and go out of our way to help those who are in trouble. Our mission at Samaritan’s Purse is to work in Jesus’ Name to help victims of disaster, disease, poverty, famine, and war. Livelihood projects are just one of many ways we do this.
At Samaritan’s Purse, we aim to follow Christ’s example when God gives us opportunities to minister to people in distress. We want to share with you the testimonies of families in places like Mongolia and Vietnam that we have helped recover from devastating circumstances.
As we provide livestock and train farmers to care for their herds or flocks, we not only help them become self-sufficient, but we also build relationships that enable our teams to share the hope of the Gospel so that many may come to know Him as Lord and Saviour.
Erdenebat Nyamsuren lives with his wife and five children in Erdenetsogt soum of Bayankhongor province. He lost all his livestock in the last dzud (winter snow disaster), and he moved his family into a coal-mining district in search of a new source of income.
“Before coming to the mine, I thought my life would be much better there,” he said. “I didn’t really have any income.”
Then the government closed the mine, and Erdenebat was forced to mine on his own and haul the coal in sacks. He knew that it was bad for his health to work around coal dust, but he had no choice. “The cost of living in the city and mining area was high and you had to have money every time you went out,” he said. “I didn’t have any money or a job.”
Erdenebat longed to return to the fields. “I’ve been very depressed since I lost my animals and the past year has been difficult for our family,” he said. “I wanted to herd again, but I didn’t know how to start and how to find help. If you have your own livestock, you will have food. When you have no food, you can’t sleep and have no purpose.”
Samaritan’s Purse made it possible by providing 20 female sheep, and the flock has made it possible for his family to prosper. His wife and eldest daughter process the milk to produce and sell cheese, curds, and butter.
He looks forward to the time that his sheep will give birth and he will be able to provide livestock to help other shepherds. “I learned to raise livestock when I was young. I will do it for the rest of my life. Thank you from my heart for this project and to everyone behind the project.”
During 2021, Samaritan’s Purse assisted 40 vulnerable herder families like Erdenenbart in four communities to restore their livelihoods and strengthen their resilience for future dzud events.
Xua and her family live in a remote village in the Tra Cu District, a 3-hour trip from Ho Chi Minh City. She provides for a family of six, including her 85-year-old father and three sisters with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
She was the primary breadwinner for the household, selling vegetables at the town’s wet market, earning under $30 per week to sustain her family. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and she lost her income and fell into debt, especially as she tried to help with the critical medical needs of her young niece. “When the pandemic hit its peak last year, I had to stop going to the market. My family and I suffered so much and we were hopeless. I wanted to have enough money to take my little sister to go see a doctor but there was no way.”
She thought about raising cows but couldn’t afford the initial investment. Then Samaritan’s Purse launched the CALF program (Community Advancement through Livelihoods for Families) to help 40 households in the Tra Cu district.
Samaritan’s Purse was able to train Xua in animal husbandry and also connected her with local veterinarians to help her make the project successful. She learned that even the manure was valuable and could be sold as fertiliser, and by selling calves, she can ensure her family’s income.
“After receiving the cow, it gives me hope that my family’s quality of life is more secure now. My little sister’s disease may be treated, and my niece can go to school without worrying about finances.” When cows deliver their first calves, families can opt to pay-forward their offspring to new families to begin Phase II, benefiting an additional 40 households. Xua’s cow was the first to successfully deliver a baby calf, a testament to her stewardship and husbandry skills.
“I received the support from Samaritan’s Purse so I also want to share with other people who are in a similar situation. I want to hand over the calf to the next family in its best state,” Xua said.
Your gift can enable Samaritan’s Purse to continue working with impoverished families around the world to improve their livelihood, combat natural disasters and break free from poverty.