After sponsoring children for years, Jeff and Lettie Bisely decided to do something different this year and give a ger as a Gift of Hope to a child and family in need in Mongolia!
Jeff and Lettie Bisely have a true heart for helping children in need.
You can tell because they sponsor seven children through Holt — giving them the education, food, safety, care and stability that they need to thrive. Over the years they’ve sponsored children from the Philippines, Cambodia, India and more — helping children all around the world.
“It’s just exciting,” Jeff says. “To watch them develop. Sometimes they get adopted, sometimes they get [stabilized with their families] back home — it’s been really encouraging.”
The Biselys live in Morro Bay, California, and every year a Holt representative comes to their church to share about sponsorship – and how individuals can change the life of a child living in poverty.
But this year, Jeff and Lettie decided to do something additional, something different than normal. They decided to give a Gift of Hope — a ger.
A ger is a traditional home in Mongolia that is similar to what many in the U.S. know as a yurt. Gers are round, made of thick canvas and insulation and have a stove in the middle as a heat source. They are a safe and warm home for families living in one of the coldest places on earth.
On the worst Mongolian winter days, temperatures can drop to -40 degrees. This is unbearably and dangerously cold, especially for the children and families living in poverty near Ulaanbaatar’s largest garbage dump. These children and families live in the very worst of poverty. They live in makeshift homes, burn items from the dump for fuel to keep warm and rummage through the refuse to find recyclables to sell for an income.
But when temperatures drop so low, it becomes all about survival. Children and families here desperately need a home — a warm and safe place to sleep. And that’s exactly how the Biselys wanted to help.
“I grew up in upstate New York, so I used to shovel show and it probably got down to zero [degrees] occasionally,” Jeff says. “But I can’t even fathom negative degrees! Especially without 18 layers of Columbia down jackets and winter gear! Unfortunately, I doubt they have adequate clothing as well.”
So in October, as the cold weather began here in the U.S. as well as in Mongolia, Jeff and Lettie gave a ger as a Gift of Hope.
“They need to survive the winter,” Jeff says about the children and family who received their gift. “To be healthy and try to stay alive.” And that’s exactly what their gift is achieving.
Jeff says that anyone who wants to give a Gift of Hope should start by asking what they’re most passionate about.
“If I was a local farmer here in Morro Bay, I’m pretty sure I’d be giving goats and chickens and other things that I know,” Jeff says. “And the homeless population here in California is really significant.” Another reason why giving a home to a child and family felt so meaningful to him and his wife.
Whether you give livestock or medical care or a gift to help a child go to school, there are so many meaningful Gifts of Hope that will change a child’s life forever. And now is the best season of all to give.
“It’s Christmastime,” Jeff says, “and this time of year it’s always pretty easy to find some love for others.”