Hey, when's a goat more than just a goat?
Randall Murphree
Randall Murphree
AFA Journal editor

December 2013 – Aamani, her husband and their four children live in a little village in India. For years, they barely scraped by, living in poverty, having little hope. She spent her days caring for four children while he worked long, hard hours in the fields to feed the family of six. 

The walls of their little mud hut were crumbling and slowly falling apart. During the rainy season, the leaky roof barely slowed the rain from coming through. But they had no resources for repairs. 

On week days when friends headed to school, Aamani’s children couldn’t go because there was no money for clothing or school supplies. So they spent their long, dreary days at home with their mother or wandering aimlessly through the streets.

When change came
Then, one day, Aamani and her husband found faith in Christ. Hope was born in their hearts. For a period of time, they persevered in their faith – and their hope grew, too. At the same time, their new life in Christ led other villagers to respect them for their character and integrity.

When the church became aware of the family’s great need, it blessed them with a goat during a Gospel for Asia Christmas gift distribution program. In all of their gift distribution projects, GFA works with local pastors so the relationship between villagers and the local church is strengthened.

“It’s hard for us in our comfortable western culture to realize that a goat can be a Christmas miracle for a family in Asia,” said AFR on-air personality John Riley. 

Aamani was overjoyed and treated the goat almost like a member of the family. With nutrients from the goat’s milk, the children started to grow stronger and healthier. And since Aamani was able to sell the extra milk, the family soon had enough funds for the children to go to school.

Goats and more
After some time, the goat had a kid, but unfortunately it died after a few months. But Aamani promised God that if their goat had another kid, she would give it to Him. A year later when another kid was born, Aamani presented it to the church, and it was eventually given to another family in need.

Goats are not the only animals that can make a real difference in the life of a poverty-stricken family in Asia. Even a pair of chickens can create a steady income. Chicken eggs provide food, and extra eggs can be sold at market. A water buffalo is another way to bless a family in need. These hardy animals can pull a cart, plow a field and supply milk. 

“It’s an amazing ministry,” Riley said. “I’ve been there. I’ve seen what a difference it makes. And most important of all, it builds a bridge for local pastors to share the gospel.”  undefined

Christmas Critter Campaign
AFA challenges readers to participate with Gospel for Asia to provide unique “critter gifts” for needy families in Asia.

Gifts from the stable 
One goat$70
Pair of chickens $11
Water buffalo $460
Pair of rabbits $11
One lamb $65
Pair of pigs $65

Other gifts
Pastor’s bicycle $110
Village water filter $30
Blanket $12
Sewing machine $115
Women’s literacy fund $25

More critters and other creative gifts are available in GFA’s Christmas catalog. There are many ways to provide gifts for families or pastors. Request a catalog and learn more about the ministry at gfa.org or call toll free 800-946-2742.