For sixty-two years this May, during Christian Aid Week, thousands of churches and individuals from across Britain and Ireland have been raising money and bringing hope for the poorest communities around the world. Last year a total of £8 million pounds was raised.
Members of Broadstone Methodist Church played a small part raising money, having heard the stories of Vilia and Marcelin from Haiti. Vilia sheltered 54 of her neighbours during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in her house. It had been built with the support of Christian Aid's partner KORAL back in 2010 after an earthquake took Vilia's home and mother. Vilia used her voice during the 2018 Christian Aid Week to call for more sturdy shelters for others in her community – like Marcelin, whose family had been living in a shower block since the hurricane. It is good to be able to report on the fulfilment of the project. Marcelin and many others now have new houses built to withstand, as far as possible, the storms, hurricanes and earthquakes experienced in Haiti.
This year’s Christian Aid Week will focus on raising funds to help the world's poorest mums and babies have fulfilment in their lives. Every day, 10 women die giving birth in Sierra Leone. When Tenneh was expecting her first baby there was no health centre or trained nurse in her village. She became very ill whilst giving birth, suffered greatly and was near to death. Tragically her baby died just three months old. Tenneh survived and became pregnant a second time and, fortunately, by then a nurse was working in the village supported by Christian Aid and its local partner, RADA. Tenneh's second child was delivered safely. However, there is a desperate need for a better building with more facilities to provide an adequate health centre in Tenneh’s village and in many other places.
Christian Aid envelopes will be available at the reception desk in the Broadstone Methodist Church Coffee Lounge from 12 May and there will be a retiring collection for Christian Aid at the service on 19 May. We are asked to donate in order to 'Give Life'.