‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.’ (Luke 1:68)
‘Christmas is the birthday of our saviour, Lord Jesus Christ,’ says Juliet in Bangladesh. ‘We celebrate the day with joy, because he is our saviour, our redeemer. He is the God of forgiveness and we are happy about it!
‘With this happiness, all the Christians celebrate, meet and greet each other … We prepare delicious food, and cake with candles. On 25 December, after the prayer service, we visit each other’s houses and share our food. In the afternoon, we sing carols. We share the message of Christmas to our neighbouring community … This is how we celebrate Christmas!’
As we get ready to celebrate Christmas, Juliet and her family are too. But things aren’t always easy for them.
Juliet’s family lives in an area on the coast of the Bay of Bengal where many people were already living in poverty, and now the climate crisis is making things even worse for them.
Juliet’s family rely mostly on fishing and on growing crops like rice to survive. It’s difficult since Juliet’s husband had a stroke which left him unable to work, so she has to work really hard on her own. Now that there are lots more floods and extreme cyclones, it makes life very dangerous and it’s difficult to keep finding the money to rebuild houses and replace belongings that get washed away.
We don’t have to let Juliet, her family, and people around the world facing similar situations, do so on their own. As the global church, we are part of God’s plan to release people from poverty.
The local church where Juliet lives is one of Tearfund’s partners. Through them, we have been able to help her community find ways to stay safe when flooding comes and also come up with different ways to earn more income to help them lift themselves out of poverty.
This Christmas, you could help people like Juliet and her family.
£7 a month could provide a person with training in skills such as emergency first aid and search and rescue, so they can save lives during a cyclone.