What Can I Give Him?
Albanian Children’s Christmas Appeal 2013
The Christmas story, it seems, is about babies. We celebrate the birth of Jesus who was Emmanuel, God with us. He was born under oppression and forced to spend his opening moments of life not in a welcoming home or hospital cot but in the first place his young mum could find when those labour pains took hold! An insignificant event at the time really, just another new baby born to another travelling family.
I meet a lot of babies. There is something about a baby that brings out smiles. A newborn baby can capture the heart like nothing else on earth. Whether that baby is born in a crowded hut shared with the animals in Africa or in a high tech delivery room at a hospital in the UK each one is carefully handed to the world for care and love. The first cry of the newborn demands her survival and parents find their lives turned over in a constant response to those cries. Think sleepless nights!
It is therefore incredible to realise that there are some of those cries going unheard. If you found a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes in your garage tomorrow morning you wouldn’t leave him there and hope someone would help him. I know for sure you would immediately pick him up, feed him, clothe him, take him in and try to find his mum. Of course you would call the emergency services too and they would do the same. Babies at risk are the most vulnerable beings on the planet, we are therefore programmed for their wellbeing and rescue.
At PovertySwap we are especially overjoyed when we can help to rescue sick and dying babies. Some born to mums with HIV/Aids, some abandoned because of rape, some too sick to suckle at the breast, some just another impossible mouth to feed in an already malnourished family. Without exception all are loved, without exception all would be lost. Throughout the year PovertySwap friends have been able to feed and nourish, provide medical help, educate and train parents and provide family workers for home support and sustainable development.
This Christmas we want to help our co-workers in Albania with their rescue plans for children of the most vulnerable families in their often troubled country. A recent report has shown that during 2012 poverty, both in cities and rural areas, increased in equal measure and since 2008 urban poverty has seen exponential growth! On paper that is a lot of figures, in reality it means empty stomachs, fear, unemployment, hopelessness, increasing crime and parents watching their own children become steadily malnourished and at risk of dying. A daily living nightmare that most of us would find hard to imagine.
If you can help us, it is planned to take 5000 food parcels to needy families in 5 cities of Albania during the Christmas period. That food will ease the burden for a while of course, but the connection to our co-workers, their organisations and churches will mean the promise of hope, especially for some of those terribly at risk babies and children. Beyond Christmas we are also hoping to support a case worker who will homevisit some of the most remote and forgotten rural families in Albania. They will travel miles with practical help and the gospel message of love. Such work is costly in terms of time, effort and finances but it is at the heart of the PovertySwap vision to go out and find those who have no help and no hope – to do the PovertySwap!
In the last verse of the Christmas carol, In The Bleak Midwinter, which we shall soon be singing again, it says:
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Can we ask you to give your heart this Christmas? Give it to those tiny vulnerable babies and children at risk in Albania. You can make a donation online today or send it to us at our contact address: 7 Belle Vue, Cockermouth CA13 0NT Help us to make this year of their life the one that will save their lives. Thank you so much. God bless you. Helen and Ian Faulds, for the PovertySwap children