Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In the dark winter months, Advent is a season of hope. As people of faith, we seek light and life in that darkness, trusting that God is giving shape to new life even when we can’t yet see it. We are also called to actively embody that hope. As the Church, we offer hope to others who are living through dark times. The work that you support through Week of Compassion reflects the hope, peace, joy and love of this season in tangible ways. Here are just a few of the places that hope travels through some of our recent responses.
Hope In Hard Places
Since 2018, Week of Compassion has been responding to the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through our partners. One of the responses, through LWF/IMA World Health, was meant to provide direct assistance to families that had lost loved ones and were now struggling to survive and meet basic needs. But our local partners faced unexpected challenges. They found that those with the greatest need were often targeted by others in the community. There is still a great deal of fear and misinformation surrounding the disease, and so families who have experienced a loss are often alienated from their neighbors. This means that our partners can’t always identify families in need of assistance; and also means they have to be careful and confidential with the support they are able to deliver, so as not to cause further strife for these struggling families.
Committed to providing relief in spite of those obstacles, our partners determined that the best way to offer help is to work through local churches where they maintain close connections. This way, they avoid drawing attention to those who need assistance, thus ensuring that “the help will not be harmful,” and that support will reach those who need it most.
Through our global network of partners, Week of Compassion collaborates and works within our partners’ structures, communicating with those who best understand the needs and have the most effective means of distributing resources. By using our partners’ strength, we ensure that our response will have meaningful impact, while empowering leaders in the local community. In this season of Advent, and at all times, your support is a sign of hope to those in desperate need.
Hope in Hard Places
While some recover from illness, others begin to rebuild from disaster. We are responding to needs in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis through our partners in Japan.With winter weather approaching, and more than 700 people still living in emergency shelters, the needs are urgent. Commercial repair could take up to six months, so the response of our partners is critical for vulnerable families, like those with disabled family members and those without disaster insurance. While this work is still in early stages, we are committed to supporting long-term recovery in the area as well as helping to meet immediate needs.
Hope In Hard Places
Week of Compassion works through a global network of partners so that our church can respond to critical needs like these, even in far-away places. The love and compassion that you share reflects the hope of this season--around the world, around the year.
On this Giving Tuesday, we give thanks for partners --close to home and around the world-- that make it possible for our wider church respond to urgent needs like this. And we give thanks for you, Disciples, whose love gives light to places of darkness. Through Week of Compassion, Disciples’ presence and witness travels beyond our sanctuary walls, beyond our borders, beyond even the traditional season of giving and gratitude-- touching lives and sharing hope.
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