India (MNN) — We begin a five-part series on the work of Global Action. Global Action works in 15 countries around the world equipping indigenous partners in each of the countries in which we are involved. They, in turn, serve the end-user of the ministry services provided, which are defined by the local partners in consultation with Global Action.
Today, we start off with a ministry to India and Nepal. While India is known for its heat and humidity, you may not know it can also be known for its cold.
Phil Long is the new president of Global Action. Long says the northern areas of India and Nepal can be challenging. "There are over 10,000 people in those areas who die of cold weather exposure every year. Over the past few years, we've given out over 55,000 blankets to people in Nepal and Northern India."
The need for blankets was discovered by Global Action national team members. Long says, "This is a tremendous outreach tool to be able to share the Gospel with people. So not only do they get warmer on the outside when we meet that need, but they begin to be open to the Gospel. And these are very tough areas."
Long adds, "Most of them have no understanding of Jesus at all. So it opens the door for us to begin to share the Gospel and ask, 'Can we pray with you? Is there anything that we can pray with you about?' This opens their hearts to the Gospel — first to us, then to the Gospel."
These blankets are handed out by local Christians. Long says, "We work with churches in the areas in which we hand out blankets. So we work with pastors, and we work with local churches in those areas. We have [churches] we can directly place them with."
Global Action needs funding to help provide blankets to the needy. It only costs $5. To give to the project, click here. Those blankets are purchased locally and used by Christian in these areas.
While local believers lead the ministry, Global Action also recruits teams from the West to distribute blankets. Each year they send at least four teams to the region. This year, they're giving away a trip. "We take participants out into the villages to hand out blankets. They wrap these blankets around people. We see some of them begin to weep and wonder, 'Why are these Americans coming over here and doing this for us?'" That's the open door for the Gospel."
If your name is drawn, you could win a "Touch the World" Trip to India to hand out blankets this year. To activate your name without cost or obligation, click here.