One day last week after school, Christina and Amanda, from Grace Disciples of Christ Church in Covington, Louisiana, were talking to one another over their walkie-talkies – something they enjoy doing almost every day. On this particular afternoon they were making plans for the weekend. Christina had an idea that perhaps they could sell something "to help all the people of Japan who lost everything." Amanda suggested they bake and sell cupcakes and decorate water bowls for dogs. That Sunday morning, they showed up for church with a couple dozen cupcakes, a few painted pet bowls, and hearts overflowing with excitement.
They asked me, their pastor, if they could sell the items and give the proceeds to Week of Compassion for the people in Japan. Dana, Christina's mom, shared, "They ran out of cupcakes in minutes after church. They even took an order for another pet bowl, which they have already decorated and plan to deliver this Sunday. They were so happy about the amount of money they raised and surprised at what a few cupcakes and pet bowls could do." Christina and Amanda raised $115 for Week of Compassion and for the people of Japan, but more than that, they experienced the joy of giving compassionately.
Thank you, Christina and Amanda! Your offering will make a difference in the lives of many children and their families in Japan who need our help right now. You are wonderful! Thanks, too, to the Rev. Laura Fitt-Baird, their pastor, who shared this story with us.
Japan Relief Continues
A big thanks to Magdalyn Sebastian, who put together the marvelous Japan video for Week of Compassion’s home page. Thanks so much, Magdalyn!
Reaching Out to Libya
While we have been focused on the events in Japan, let us not forget the other people around the world who need our compassion. Violence resulting from the armed conflict between the Libyan military and opposition forces has caused more than 376,000 persons, mainly migrant workers, to flee Libya since February. More than 190,000 of them have crossed into Tunisia, more than 154,000 have fled to Egypt and the balance of the displaced people have gone to Algeria, Niger, Chad and Sudan. The exodus from troubled Libya has created a situation of dire need for families in Libya, Egypt and along the Tunisia-Libya border.
In response to the situation, Week of Compassion partners from the ACT Alliance are providing on-the-ground humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance on the Tunisia-Libya border, in Egypt and inside Libya, including humanitarian support for the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict. Church World Service support will be designated to help ACT Alliance member Christian Aid and its local partners in Egypt address the basic needs of returnees and their families in 17 dioceses across Egypt. The response also will include programs to address the psycho-social needs of returnees and those affected by the violence in Libya. Week of Compassion gifts are 1) generating income for affected vulnerable households through a cash for work program to enable them to meet their basic needs; 2) creating assets and providing services that benefit the community; 3) addressing basic needs identified in local communities through the use of a voucher system; and 4) addressing psycho-social needs of returnees and those affected by the violence in Libya.
We also continue to remember the people of Egypt and our local partner, the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), to whom Week of Compassion support has been directed through Global Ministries. CEOSS has set up an Emergency Fund to alleviate the impact of this crisis on the poor in the communities where CEOSS works.
To donate to our relief efforts and long-term development support, please visit here.
We thank you for your ongoing courageous compassion. Sharing resources changes lives. Praise be to the One who accompanies us along the journey of recovery, rebuilding our lives, and healing.