Russia (MNN) — Harsh and unusual weather has plagued Siberia and the Russian Far East this year. After a warm summer and autumn in 2020, the region has seen the longest stretch of subzero temperatures in 14 years.
In the region of Yakutia, temperatures have consistently hit -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Eric Mock of the Slavic Gospel Association says, “The churches we serve are very active in ministry, even in that bitter cold. In fact, I recently received an email from one of the men in Yakutia that said, ‘It’s a normal Yakutian season. It’s wonderful, and just right for ministry!’”
Meanwhile, many Ukrainians continue to suffer from the cold as well. Mock says, “In a lot of these areas, especially in the war zone of Ukraine, they have broken infrastructure. I’ve driven into some of the cities and villages there. The fighting has even destroyed the gas lines to these houses. So the best thing that they can hope for is a potbelly stove or some other source of heat, maybe a small room heater.”
Plus, the warm and dry summer already hurt the country’s crops. With the lack of snow cover, colder air could damage the crops even more.
Operation Winter Warmth
In response to the cold, SGA is bringing aid through Operation Winter Warmth. They fund local Christians, who then bring food, warmth, and the Gospel to those in need. Mock asks readers to pray for the safety of these believers as they go out to minister in hazardous weather. “When they’re driving out there, and it’s 40, 50, 60 degrees below zero, the visibility is greatly reduced: what they call ice fog. If their car breaks down, they may not survive.”
You can participate in this work. Learn more about Operation Winter Warmth or contribute financially at SGA’s website. Also, pray that as Christians share the Gospel, many would see their love and be drawn to Jesus Christ.
The header image shows ice fog over the Bow River in Canada. (Dburhoe, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)