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Make a difference this Christian Aid Week 

CA-Edile-Abod390Every church can make a difference this Christian Aid Week (May 11-17) to the millions of people whose lives are torn apart by war. East of England Regional Coordinator, Julian Bryant, explains how.

 
For a growing number of people across the world, the horror of war is a part of daily life.  Right now, fuelled by the devastating violence in both Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the numbers of people driven from their homes by war is on the rise.
 
It stands at 42 million people – an appalling statistic and a stain on the conscience of humanity. We can’t turn our backs. We must act now.
 
The good news is that your church can make a real difference. Why not have a collection this Sunday, invite people round for a meal and ask for a donation, bake some cakes and sell them or wash some cars? Volunteer to collect envelopes? Or simply give? Together, these donations make a real difference.
 
Each statistic we hear about is a person. A person like Edile (pictured above). He is nine years old and lives in the Las Camelias humanitarian zone in Colombia. His father was killed when he was little and he paints pictures. His paintings reflect his biggest fears: that his community is attacked by armed groups. Many children living here have been through so much in their short lives, having lost parents or relatives. In this area our partner has set up a school in which the teachers keep an eye on the psychological wellbeing of Edile and his friends.
 
A House of Memory has also been set up within the community which preserves the memory  of those who have been killed and contains a display of ancestral seeds put together by young people.
 
Life is peaceful at Las Camelias. It is a space for people to be listened to and the healing process is accelerated as people share the pain by talking about their situation. In addition, our partner, CIJP provides psychological support to victims of armed conflict, legal support so victims can get justice, and workshops to educate people about their rights.
 
ChristianAidWeekLogo240Edile’s fears haven’t gone away yet, but he now feels – and is – much safer. His new-found security means he can now enjoy lessons and educational activities. He has the space to just be a child again.
 
He says: ‘I am happy here. It is fun, we play ball, I have many friends.’
 
There are many more children like Edile who still desperately need help.
 
Last year, a magnificent 20,000 churches across the country helped raise over £12m for Christian Aid Week.  This Christian Aid Week (May 11–17) we want to go even further in Norfolk.
 
Together we can send people living in fear this message: you are not alone. We’re with you, helping you to rebuild your lives, and working for peace.
 
Imagine what such an expression of love would mean to people searching for the strength to cope with the devastation of war, and how it could help to drive out their fear.
 
Demonstrate God’s love for those living in poverty and show how much good the church is doing in the world this Christian Aid Week.
 
Together we can reach the 42 million people caught up in conflict and help them live a life free from fear.
 

JulianBryant194Could you provide the gift of hope? Contact Julian Bryant for giving envelopes and other resources on jbryant@christian-aid.org
 
A short video about Edile and other information can be downloaded from the Christian Aid Week website 
 
Be an instrument of God’s peace. Give, act and pray this Christian Aid Week.
 
www.caweek.org
 

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