“I have many times cried because of the bitter cold,” shared 70-year-old Parmeet during an interview with a GFA-supported field correspondent last year.
“When it is extremely cold, we are not able to do anything; we are not able to go out and work in the field,” he explained. “And if we don’t work, we don’t get food.”
Life Below Zero
Where Parmeet lives, it drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Throughout the winter months, people can’t even take a bath because it is so cold—they only wash their faces, and that only after heating the water.
“If we touch the cold water, it hurts our hands so badly,” Parmeet explained.
People’s hands become dry and cracked. Frostbite is a regular threat for Parmeet and his large family, who layer all the ragged clothes they own in an effort to stay warm. To survive the frigid nights, the entire family crowds together near the kitchen stove and sleeps on sacks filled with husks and sawdust.
Firewood is essential for survival. In fact, Parmeet, a daily-wage laborer, often spends hours gathering firewood for his neighbors in order to earn a meager income. But due to the cold, he couldn’t get an early start or work for very long, meaning he struggled to provide food for his family. But that changed the day he received a jacket through the donations of GFA friends—through people like you. “This is a very good jacket,” Parmeet shared. “It is of very good quality. … It has kept my body very warm. … Now I am able to go and do whatever work I am assigned.”
Sustained by the warmth of the jacket, this father, who already knew the love of the Savior, can work longer hours and make more money to feed his family.
“This jacket has not only protected me from cold and sickness, but this has encouraged me,” he said. “I feel my spirit is very high; I am very happy now.”
Although a large percentage of winter clothing packets go to help pastors and other GFA-supported workers, some are also given to help and encourage men like Parmeet.
“I am so happy and so grateful to you for giving me this jacket,” Parmeet said, addressing his unknown benefactors around the world. “I pray the Lord would bless you. … Thank you very much for loving me and caring for me.”