In Kyrgyzstan, Covenant World Relief is working with a partner together to create a new future for their community. They have started a program that allows people to borrow a few sheep from a central herd to create their own small flock, and when those sheep have multiplied the owners of the flock return the starter sheep to the central herd and keep the offspring to start their own herd. In this way, the community has a deep attachment and commitment to seeing the herd sustained and flourish.
This program has benefitted the community in profound ways. The sheep allow families to have a livelihood that they would not other wise have, and the sheep provide a source of income and food. Here are some of the stories of the ways that the people in this community have been changed by this program.
A widow is trying to raise 5 children on her own since her husband passed away several years ago. She considers herself a good Muslim as she prays the namaz five times daily and reads the Koran. Yet when she could not feed her family, she turned to this program whom she knew was run by followers of Isa (Jesus) because she had heard from neighbors that they would help. She was enrolled in the sheep loan project. Not only that, but she was hired to care for project animals during the winter when they are in the barn. Now 2 years later, she has 14 sheep of her own and is able to make a living. More importantly, her view of believers and Jesus has been transformed.
E.’s family was one of the first to enroll in the animal project 6 years ago. When he started, he was living in poverty and had nothing to call his own except a run-down home. He was given 10 sheep at the start and with hard work, he now has a herd of goats and sheep that number over 50– the most of any project families. In this culture, such a flock can be considered wealthy. It is now estimated that in the village where the project began, 90% of the families own animals as a result of our project. Six years ago, this figure was less than 50%.
Please pray about how you can be involved in life changing projects such as these.