PROJECT HOT BOT
PROJECT HOT BOT
21 December 2020 – An up-to-date field report
Ecclesiastes 4:11 asks this question: If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself?
This question is both spiritual and physical, especially if you live in an isolated and remote village in the Himalayas. And for those who are preparing for a harsh winter, it is a matter of life and death.
The Himalayas are known for their tough and relentless winters. When the first snow starts falling, families immediately prepare for another six months of punishing weather with inadequate resources. Villages are isolated, houses are simple, made of mud with windows not insulated, and families are unprotected and exposed to the realities of hypothermia. With no electricity, heaters, and even glass to cover windows, winter nights, for most, is a time of survival.
So, to answer the hypothetical question of Ecclesiastes: how can you keep warm by yourself?
The simple answer: A hot water bottle.
For those who follow Christ, the harsh winters present a wonderful opportunity to express the tangible love of a compassionate Saviour. One of the local Church leaders has decided to use the whole of December to move around from village to village, often separated by days of trekking, and to bless the people who are isolated and unreached. One of the main commodities he wishes to distribute during his visits are hot water bottles. For many even the luxury of a warm blanket is insufficient in the cold winter nights where warmth from beneath a blanket could be the difference between surviving or suffering.
When shown a hot water bottle by a foreign visitor the host immediately responded with a “I want one! Where can I find it?!” She shared that even though she sleeps with three blankets, she remained cold. One blanket costs about R300.00, while a hot water bottle is a quarter of that price.
PROJECT HOT BOT
And so, Project Hot Bot was born. We, as a ministry, in partnership with amazing people serving in the Himalayas, would like to share in this joy of bringing the tangible warmth of the Gospel to people who need to hear about a caring saviour.
The aim of the project is to sponsor 500 hot water bottles to people in remote villages living in the Himalayas. The bottles will be personally delivered, with instructions, beautiful hand-made covers, a funnel (for safety), and complemented with other necessities to survive the harsh winter.
The cost of buying, covering, and delivering a hot water bottle will be R100.00. For the cost of a hamburger, we can keep someone warm through the icy days of a Himalayan winter.
The purpose is more than just bringing warmth to a cold body. The principle that Ecclesiastes conveys is that, as humans, we need more than just blankets. We need a community of people who care. Mark Dunagan explains it as follows: It is obvious that the miser could buy all the blankets he needed. But there is a warmth that money can’t buy. The warmth of another human being is real, and not artificial. In addition, this verse could be more of the inner warmth that comes because of close friendship.
The primary purpose of the project therefore is to display the practical love of Christ to the people of this region in a tangible, loving, and compassionate way. Christ called His followers to express a tangible Gospel that ultimately reflects His care as a God of love. What a joy to know if we clothe, feed, visit, and care for even the least – we do it to Christ. “I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:36) Jesus declared. You took the time, made the effort, and graced me with your company. This is purpose number ONE.
But our partner does not want to arrive empty-handed in the villages he enters. He will deliver a gift that has great value and will contribute to the well-being of families and communities. Culturally this displays care, integrity, and honour. The hot water bottles will not only bring relief but also establish relationships.
Thirdly, it will create job opportunities and provide a source of income for local workers who will be preparing the covers.
Lastly, but not least, friendships will open doors into remote and isolated villages in a non-threatening way.
To make a donation please use the following account: