Displaying items by tag: Tearfund
‘People were getting sick and dying a lot,’ says Sango. ‘One of my children died from diarrhoea. We could not afford medical care, we sold our mattresses, plates and clothes to pay for medicine and had nothing left to sell. ‘Our children were often ill and couldn’t go to school so we didn’t have time to farm and lost the respect of our community. Our despair turned to joy when Tearfund came and taught the importance of good toilets and washing our hands to prevent diseases, including diarrhoea. We built our first family toilet with a hand washing device. It has been three months since anyone has been ill! We have time and strength to farm and we can eat three meals a day, not just one. Our children are back at school, and after we have harvested our next crop we will buy some clothes.’
Tearfund works tirelessly to help communities escape the very worst effects of poverty and disaster. They believe that the same people facing these troubles also have the best ideas about the ways they can overcome them. So Tearfund listens and then helps people to utilise their resourcefulness and determination to overcome their circumstances. When disaster strikes, Tearfund and its local partners are usually already present, hard at work in those very places. They have been responding to emergencies since 1968, working alongside local churches and Christian organisations wherever possible. They know the people, they know the problems and so often they can see simple, inexpensive solutions.
‘Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.’ (Isaiah 1:17) In Colombia, churches are playing a key role in welcoming and supporting the millions of refugees who have fled political and economic turmoil in Venezuela. Churches are able to reach out to remote communities where local authorities and humanitarian organisations are not working and build trusting relationships with refugees. With support from Tearfund, churches are providing quality services and activities, including trauma healing groups for women who have experienced violence. ‘It is the first support that I found here in Colombia for migrants like us’, says Julie, a Venezuelan refugee who attends a trauma healing group. ‘When I arrived at the church, I found peace that I previously did not have. When I got to the church, I saw that it was like my family.’
Ethiopians have a catastrophic hunger crisis after four failed harvest seasons due to drought. There are dire predictions for the autumn harvest. 91% of people in southern Ethiopia live in rural areas, depending on livestock and agriculture to survive – the backbone of Ethiopia’s economy. All grazing lands and water sources have dried out. Livestock and crops have perished. There are severe food shortages. People travel for hours searching for water. This responsibility falls to women and girls, putting them at risk on dangerous routes. Girls are also missing school. Pray for agencies to provide adequate nourishing food and clean water where it is needed. Pray for people to feel God’s love and comfort surrounding them. Pray that there will be no long-term side effects or medical conditions due to hunger. Ask God to bring the rainfall that is needed; may this lead to abundant harvests and water sources springing up again closer to communities.
Colombia is home to two million Venezuelan refugees who fled economic and political crises and now face adapting to and integrating into a foreign culture. But instead of finding support, they often find themselves isolated and discriminated against. Churches across Colombia have been reaching out to these refugees, letting them know they are not alone. Tearfund and local partners have been equipping churches to set up trauma healing groups, which have supported hundreds of women. It was at her local church’s healing group that Julia finally found acceptance, community, and healing. ‘It is the first support that I found here in Colombia for migrants like us. When I arrived at the church I found the peace that I previously did not have. I saw that it was like my family. I arrive and they hug me, I leave and they hug me. It really has made me think about changing my life.’
15,500+ have fled Port-au-Prince. Homes, churches, businesses and schools have been burnt down or occupied by gangs. Haiti’s president was attacked in his home and killed. Tearfund works closely with the League of Pastors, a network of church leaders in Port-au-Prince. As soon as the violence escalated, they set up shelters for those who had fled, and Tearfund provided food, hygiene kits, and cash assistance for other essential needs. The shelters were soon overcrowded, so church leaders opened their homes. They also wanted to help the gang members. So the League of Pastors nominated leaders in their churches to be trained in peacebuilding and conflict-resolution skills. It is hoped this will lead to community dialogues with gang members and bring about healing and restoration in their communities and peace for Haiti. The church continues to be a refuge and a hope to people during this crisis, but the situation remains critical.
The G7 leaders will meet in Cornwall from 11 to 13 June. Tearfund has said that since 2020 G7 has spent more on fossil fuels than on clean energy. As UK government funding kick-starts economies, there are unique opportunities to invest in decarbonising global energy systems and accelerating transition from fossil fuels. Although the UK announced green policies of petrol-car phase-out and ending overseas fossil fuels support, only 4% had ‘green strings’ attached. Tearfund feels that this reveals tensions between Government green ambitions and Treasury spending. Every day Tearfund witnesses worsening consequences of the climate crisis in communities around the world. Choices made now by G7 countries will either accelerate the transition towards a climate-safe future for all or jeopardise efforts to tackle the climate crisis. G7 nations represent only a tenth of world population but almost a quarter of CO² emissions. Their actions set the scene for success or failure of the Glasgow climate talks in November. Join with the World Prayer Centre in covering the G7 in prayer between 11th & 13th June - HERE.
Home is a place where everyone can flourish: somewhere we can belong, feel safe, and grow. Millions of people, forced to flee their homes because of years of conflict, are having to raise their families in cramped conditions in refugee camps, lacking the basic essentials. Life is a struggle to survive. Pray for people like Tamam who used to live a quiet and comfortable life in Northern Syria, with her loving husband and children. Then IS occupied the area; no electricity or running water, crops and animals died. Her husband was killed, and they joined around 1 million Syrians living in makeshift settlements in the middle of a slum in Lebanon. Pray for the mission agencies bringing relief in dangerous situations, and for the network of churches attempting to support displaced people.
Farming used to be a key source of income in Burkina Faso, but the climate crisis has made the weather unpredictable, crops fail, and families have few other opportunities to earn money to survive. 80% of the population is dependent on agriculture to earn an income. When crops fail, families go hungry, and they are forced to make hard decisions so that they can survive. Parents are now sending their children to work in the gold mines. It is dangerous and no place for a child, nevertheless thousands of children now work there. They work instead of going to school, and miss out on being children, playing with their friends, learning, and dreaming. However, Tearfund’s local partner CREDO is working with farmers to help restore the soil and provide training on new farming techniques and harvesting climate-resistant crops.
It can be difficult to know where to start when praying for a crisis as large as coronavirus. So Tearfund have created a simple helpful prayer guide for intercessors to use individually, with a group or with the church. To download this perceptive resource for praying for situations close to home and around the world click the ‘More’ button.