It’s rare for us to live through a phenomenon which affects us in the UK at the same time as people right across the world. Not often in our lives have we experienced a threat that is shared by our global neighbours as wide ranging as Ethiopia, Lebanon and Nicaragua.
Covid -19 and measures to curb its spread have held much of the world in its thrall throughout 2020 destroying lives, instilling fear, devastating livelihoods and forcing vulnerable people into more desperate poverty.
As we approach Christmas, we are reminded of a person who turned the world upside down for good, whose life in a time of oppression and fear introduced a hope that transformed the globe as it spread across it.
Looking to Emmanuel, God with us, this Christmas, we are reminded that God walks with us through deeply difficult times and works through us in all circumstances to show love to this world. A love that never fails. A love that unites, A love that builds hope.
Inspired by Jesus, Christian Aid walks alongside those for whom coronavirus is yet another threat on top of existing ones, including the climate crisis, conflict and, in 2020, the impact of devastating locust swarms in Eastern Africa.
Christian Aid’s support and actions help people like Mekonnen Sofar in Ethiopia’s South Omo Region. He digs a metre deep in dry river beds to find water to keep his livestock alive as the climate crisis pushes his family into hunger and threatens his whole way of life. Friends, fellow herdsmen, women and children have died through digging so deep that the dry river bed collapses above them.
In Ethiopia, and around the world, people living in poverty are on the frontline of the climate crisis.
Christian Aid is working with communities like Mekonnen’s to provide communal water sources and to explore alternative means of raising income, such as making soap from Aloe vera and planting drought resistant crops.
Families are losing water, food, homes and livelihoods. Every day, they walk further, dig deeper, work harder, and build stronger to simply survive. Unrelenting. Determined to build a world in which their children will thrive.
Hope for a better future is the greatest gift we can give this season.
The new restrictions placed on how we meet and interact have caused us all to rethink what it is to be community. Supporters of Christian Aid know that we are bound together by much more than a virus and have shown a deep determination to continue to reach out to others across the world.
This Christmas we can celebrate the incredible truth that we are bound together globally by love. A love that builds resilience in the face of disease, drought and darkness, that builds up hope for all our neighbours.
This Christmas we give, we act, and we pray: because love calls us to action. Because we believe in a hope that lasts – a hope that drives us to build a better world. Our traditions may look different in this year of social distance, yet love is never distant.
To find out more about Christian Aid’s Christmas appeal, including how to act for climate justice visit caid.org.uk/hope.
To donate to Christian Aid please go to Farnham Christian Aid’s just giving page – justgivng.com/fundraising/farnhamca
Thank you for spreading hope where we need it most.