Christmas Eve, there’s a picture of it, already, in your head, in your heart, Ornaments and lights. Presents under the tree. Children snuggled safe in their beds, squirming with anticipation. But the picture is very, very different for the children and families we serve. This Christmas, they’ll be walking. Trudging, on foot,mile after mile, simply to stay alive.
Water for Survival
• The families we serve walk an average of three miles every single day of the year — to find water. Children often have the chore of fetching water for the entire family, so they can’t go to school. They even have to make the trek when they’re sick — because there’s no way to survive without water. And even then, the water they bring back is dirty, unsafe and yet it’s all they have. We need to dig more wells.
Growing Their Own Food
• Many of the parents we serve have to walk long distances to find work — they leave home before dawn, return after dark, leave young children alone all day. They have no choice — even though their wages are pitifully small. There’s no alternative. But for $80, we can get a family started raising chickens or pigs, growing a garden, planting crops. Parents can stay home with their children. The children eat better, and get back in school. We need to help more families grow their own food.
Surgical Mission Teams
• Some people walk hundreds of miles — for surgery. One woman carried her baby boy more than 2,000 miles to reach an Esperança surgeon. We can hardly imagine such a thing. Surgery is traumatic for anyone, but I can hardly fathom the pain of having to walk hundreds of miles to find help. It only costs $7,000 to send an entire surgical mission
team to a needy area — and each team averages as many as 45 surgeries. That’s about $156 for an operation (another mind-blowing number). We need to send more surgical mission teams.
I invite you to look through the gift catalog. You’ll find many different ways to change the lives of children and families in serious need. The Matching Challenge applies to anything in this catalog and any additional items. Your pledge will be DOUBLED this month due to our board of directors agreeing to match your gifts up to $100,000!