“I have no children and God is my only relative, and I entrust all my hopes to His hands as He never leaves me alone. Through the Church sisters and brothers, I always receive God’s support. My God is alive and that means I live too,” said Arpik (aged 92).
Arpik lost her home in the 1988 Armenia earthquake and has lived alone in a shelter known as a domik ever since. The domiks – supposed to be just temporary accommodation – are little more than scrap metal shacks with no insulation or protection from the bitter cold of an Armenian winter.
Six months of brutal winter
Winters in Armenia stretch from November until late May, and temperatures can drop to -33°C. Coping with both poverty and this intense cold is the stark everyday reality of Christians in the high-altitude Shirak region as they struggle to survive during this brutal season.
To make matters worse, firewood is scarce in Armenia this winter, as the hot, dry summer of 2019 resulted in ferocious forest fires, which destroyed much of the country’s sparse forests.
Armenia’s suffering history
Over 1.5 million Armenian Christians died in the prolonged Armenian Genocide of a century ago, which finished only a few years before Arpik was born. They died because they were Christians and refused to convert to Islam.
Please help Barnabas send winter warmth so that Armenian Christians can survive
Barnabas Fund is providing winter fuel for Arpik and many other of the neediest believers in Armenia. Working through the churches, aid is given as wood to burn or money for gas and electricity bills.
It will cost about £70 ($90; €80) per household to keep a penniless Armenian Christian family warm this winter. That pays for four cubic metres of wood, or for the gas and electricity.
Show the warmth of your love for fellow Christians in Armenia with a gift of winter warmth.