Good economic news in India, help needed for the poor in the north

By September 8, 2010

India (MNN) — India's economy continues to make headlines around the world. Last week reports indicated that the nation's economy grew 8.8 percent. While this is good news for the nation, it does little for the nation's poor, especially in the north.

Global Action is a ministry dedicated to serving alongside nationals and global partners to meet both physical and spiritual needs. This fall and winter, India will be a focus of their work.

Global Action President Lars Dunberg says while India is known for being very hot, it also gets very cold. "The northern part–which includes the capital of Delhi and all parts of India that borders the Himalayas–gets below freezing every winter. [It happens] from December to about February."

While this happens every year, Dunberg says, "The problem is that this is one of the most poverty-stricken areas. People have very little clothing. They certainly don't have any winter clothing."

Through the help of local churches, Global Action identifies the poorest of the poor. Once they're identified, they send in their local orphan choir in the town square. "And then, we call these people forward that are on the list and provide them with a $5 woolen blanket–a heavy military type blanket that will shield them completely from the winter cold."

As the people hear songs and God's Word, seeds of the Gospel are planted. And because the local churches are organizing the events, many people turn to them for physical and spiritual guidance.

The blanket distribution is in its fourth year. "This year, we are shooting to give away 17,000 blankets: 15,000 in India and 2,000 in Nepal."

Your gift of $25 will provide blankets to five families and ensure that they hear the Gospel.

This year, Global Action is recruiting teams to go to India to distribute blankets. Dunberg says this is important. "In some of these villages, people have never, ever seen a non-Indian. So it becomes very, very special. We will go every day out to a group of villages and distribute a couple hundred blankets a day in those places."

As Christians spend time in these communities, Dunberg says they get opportunities to share Christ. "Very often, they say, 'Why are you here?' And we say, 'We are here because we love you.' [They say], 'Why do you love us? You don't know us.' [We respond], 'Well, we love you because [God] loved us first.' That's just a natural way to share the Gospel, says Dunberg.

Five different teams are heading to India this fall and winter.

For the second year in a row, Global Action is having a contest. "We like to offer to take someone along [with us] at our expense."

If you'd like to win a free mission trip to India, all you have to do is register on the home page of our Web site. Make sure you fill out the information completely. Then, on October 4, 2010, MNN and Global Action will be drawing the winner. The winner's name will be announced on the Web site, via e-mail, and on our radio broadcast.

You may also call 1-800-284-9361 for more information.

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