The Bible is unequivocal in its call to help the poor and suffering, and this season after Easter gives us opportunity to consider what it means to bring resurrection hope to a broken world. One way to do this is to get involved with this year’s Christian Aid Week.
Throughout his ministry on earth, Jesus consistently demonstrated concern for the poor. He showed compassion to those who had little, and anger at those who exploited them. It is his example that drives Christian Aid Week, this year running from 11-17 May. Christian Aid Week challenges us in our churches to step up and take action on behalf of the world’s poorest.
In the face of 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty, we can feel overwhelmed by the scale of suffering in our broken world. Christian Aid Week offers us the opportunity to tackle this scandal head on, as part of a nationwide movement for justice.
There are hundreds of ways to get involved – from traditional house-to-house collecting to abseiling down a church tower – but the most important thing is to do something.
Blessed are the peacemakers
This year, Christian Aid Week is focusing on the work Christian Aid does to bring peace to communities decimated by conflict. Where lives are torn apart by war, Christian Aid is there to walk the long road to restoration. It’s not an easy path.
One of the most striking stories Christian Aid is telling about its work this year is about nine-year-old Edile, who lives in Colombia. Born into a warzone, he knows are more about guns and soldiers than any child should. His dad was killed by paramilitaries, and his whole village fled, surviving in the mountains, the jungle, or in nearby towns. Meanwhile, their land was taken over by multinational companies who refused to give it back.Christian Aid, through its partners in Colombia, has helped Edile’s grandmother to take their case to national and international courts, and now they live in a safe zone which all armed groups are forbidden to enter. The involvement of international organisations like Christian Aid guarantees the safety of Edile and his playmates, so that they can enjoy what is left of their childhood.
It is in this context that we are called to support Christian Aid Week: a world in which violence traumatises children, forcibly throws communities from their homes, and greedily looks to its own interests. Our God challenges us not to ignore the orphans and the widows among us, but instead to seek his blessing by becoming peacemakers.
“So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.”’ Ephesians 6:14-15 (GNT)
A Christian Aid Week prayer
Walk with me God,
as I step out onto the streets
to show your love.
May each stride
move us closer to a fairer world.
Move hearts to fill envelopes
with change to transform lives.
And through every smile exchanged
and every doorstep conversation,
help me to be a messenger of Good News
in my community and for the world’s poor
Some ways you can get involved!
Take part in a house-to-house collection
Speak to your church rep or contact your local Christian Aid office to find out how you can lend a hand in your local collection. Going house to house is a great way for your church to be seen in the community and allow everyone in your neighbourhood the chance to contribute to the fight against poverty. Call our South-East office on 0207 523 2105 or email email@example.com
Estimates suggest that 500,000 cakes will be baked for Christian Aid Week! Why not bake a batch of buns to sell after church on Christian Aid Week Sunday?
Rise to the challenge
Do something special and collect sponsorship for it. You could undertake a sponsored silence, a swim or even a radical haircut. Alternatively, challenge someone else in your church – but you’ll have to put your hand in your pocket and sponsor them!
Food glorious food
Everyone loves sharing food together so why not hold a Christian Aid Week breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner? From breakfast bacon butties to rich man/poor man dinners, there are plenty of ways to share food and raise funds. You might want to try a ‘safari supper’, visiting a different church or home for your starter, main and pudding.
Sold to the highest bidder!
Auctions are a great way to raise funds, whether it’s promises from members of your church and community or objects and artefacts. Get in touch with your local auctioneer to see if they will volunteer to hammer the gavel and start bidding on those lots!
All the world’s a stage
Concerts, talent shows and karaoke nights are a great way to put the fun into fundraising. You can get local musicians involved or uncover the hidden talents in your church and community.
Find resources, tips and plenty more ideas at caweek.org