‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.’ (1 John 4:7)
Where Tusher lives, in Bangladesh, people of all religions celebrate Christmas. He explains that the festivals are seen as for everyone, whereas faith is personal. In the run-up to Christmas, as people are preparing new clothes and special meals and buying gifts to celebrate, Tusher’s family is struggling to get food for each day.
‘We cannot afford three meals a day to live our lives properly. Then we feel very miserable and bad.’
Tusher lives with his wife, his 12-year-old daughter and his parents – all of whom it is his responsibility to provide for. He has a little bit of land, which he farms during the day, and then he goes out at night to fish on the river. His wife has a few chickens and ducks and a couple of goats, which helps a little bit, but there never seems to be enough.
On top of that, Tusher and his family live right on the coast in the Bay of Bengal, where changing weather patterns have made floods and natural disasters more frequent and more extreme.
‘Disasters are our regular companion,’ says Tusher. They make life dangerous for people living in the village, and it’s harder to earn an income.
‘I feel very upset when I face these problems – when I cannot provide food, clothes, [medical] treatment for my family, and a good educational institution for my daughter to study … It is very hard to run a family with this income,’ he says. ‘We need to survive.’
Thanks to the generosity of Tearfund supporters, our local partner, World Concern Bangladesh, has been helping Tusher’s family and community. This has included things like more-resilient housing, tree planting, early warning systems and training in skills such as emergency first aid and search and rescue – so people can be ready and safe when disaster strikes.
During the coronavirus pandemic, our partner has also helped people in Tusher’s community have access to water and soap, as well as information about how to keep hands clean and avoid spreading the disease.
There are all kinds of ways that we, as the church and as global neighbours to Tusher’s community, can reach out, bring hope and make a difference.
PS We are holding a special online concert this evening (14 December): ‘Joyful all ye nations rise…’. We would love for you to join us – you can find more information here.