Caring For Our World: Feliz Natal!
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This year, as always, we have been pleased to partner with Compassion in raising awareness of child sponsorship and supporting the global work they do to help children who otherwise would be living in poverty.
Many of us at Valley sponsor children in Fortaleza in Brazil and we have a heart to see that particular project flourish in spite of the challenges that surround it. In previous years, some people have gone from our church out to visit their sponsored children in Fortaleza, and this year when we shared the message on Compassion Sunday, another 16 children were sponsored by us. This means in total to date, over 180 children have been sponsored, and their families impacted, by Valley Church since 2008.
The feedback from Compassion has been fantastic - they have told us that the way our church has ramped up our support during a year where many others have pulled back has been a real boost to them, and has enabled them to keep doing good work in the projects we are connected to. Many of their programs have been affected by their own local lockdowns and the knock-on effects of supplies from the rest of the country, so our support has been more vital than ever. We know many projects have had to close and take learning and support online, while still continuing to use the finance given to provide food packages to help keep the children healthy as best they can.
This Christmas we have an opportunity to help a little more, by raising money for specific needs among these projects that support our children in Fortaleza. In this home from home, here are some examples of resources that currently need funding:
All of these items will go a long way to helping the projects be places that develop the children in many ways. The provision of healthy meals and access to online learning is essential for their development, and learning self-protection and having somewhere safe to just have fun, in an area where many people believe the only way to stay safe is to join one of the many local gangs, is a skill that could make every difference to these children’s future.
The good news is that we have already been able to cover some of these needs! This year, through the generosity of your donations, and the sales of face masks made by people here in church, we have already raised a whopping £1200! So that has already covered the costs of buying a computer, money for painting the sports court, and £750 to be used for whichever of the outstanding items the project feels is the most essential. This leaves a gap of only £668 and we would really love to be able to meet this, to give our Compassion Children the best Christmas ever.
To help us all understand more about the work of Compassion, this coming Sunday 20th December, it will be the focus for our Christmas offering in our worship services, both online and in person. There will be an opportunity if you would like to help supply these needs for you to give. Maybe God will give you a vision for supplying a cooker, or contributing towards sports equipment... if you want to give right away, you can do here.
If you would like to know more about the work of Compassion, you can find out more at compassionuk.org, or you can get in touch with one of the team at your worship service. For information about sponsoring a child from one of the projects we are already linked with, you can also email us at [email protected]
Finally to bless us all this Christmas Compassion have released a carol service featuring Martin Smith, Philippa Hanna, Graham Kendrick, Hillsong London, and more familiar faces.