Tarp Distribution

In one village on the outskirts of Bangalore in India, we went to a makeshift camp where hundreds of migrant workers from many parts of the country had pitched temporary tents to sleep under. It was a rainy day, and the area was flooded. Children were playing in the mud. Adults were taking cover under broken tarps. Some were drenched and were looking for a better shelter. Watching this play out in front of our eyes made us realize how urgent the need to provide temporary shelter was. That’s when we came up with the idea of “Tarp distribution.”

Just for twenty-five American dollars, we were able to buy a tarp big and durable enough to help provide shelter for a migrant family of six. The parents had four small children, and they were daily wage workers. During the daytime, they would go out and help the road construction crew by hauling tar and other materials. It was hard labor under the burning sun. Many women workers were burdened down hauling hot tar. Some of them, unable to bear the hot weather, would crumble down. This was devastating to watch. And the children had no schooling either. They were simply running around here and there. Without no one to watch and no one to guide, the lives of these children were getting wasted.

During the nights, they had to retire under their broken tents made of cloth and twigs supporting the bamboo frame that made their little thatched hut. As part of our ministry, we decided we needed to do something about this. We wanted to provide them with temporary shelters using durable tarpaulins. (A tarp is a large sheet of strong, flexible, water-resistant, or waterproof matter usually made of plastic). We immediately bought a few of them and began distributing them to these settlements of people who had migrated from the northern part of India. Most of them were gypsies in search of jobs. One of our workers from our missions had planted a church in this community, and so there was a small community of believers who had started attending a makeshift church made of mud bricks coated with clay. The roofing was a metal sheet hung precariously over the walls. God has led our missions group to identify thousands of these communities and provide them with tarpaulins as temporary shelters. And why do we do this? In Mathew 25 and verse 38, it says, “I was a stranger, and you took me in..” Those are such powerful words. Such a reality in front of our eyes. When we help shelter people who live under the sky, we are serving God. Consider assisting tens of thousands of these homeless communities, and let us, in the name of Jesus, provide them with temporary shelters. It is a place to find refuge from the elements of nature, and it creates a bridge for us to share the gospel and show Christian love in action.

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