The Bible is clear that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. A scholar asked Jesus the obvious question that flows from this command: “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus’ response to the question, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, makes it clear that our neighbours are not only those who are like us—people who look like us and who share our values and beliefs. Our neighbours are those people who need our care and love.
Please give to Anglican Aid’s End of Financial Year Appeal and care for our neighbours in need.
Neighbours like Halima
Halima is a refugee and single mother living in Cairo, who was struggling to provide and care for two young children. There is very little support for refugees like Halima - without an income she and her children would be destitute. Our partners at Refuge Egypt worked with Halima and found an employer who offers flexible working arrangements so that she can now earn an income and care for her children.
Neighbours like Grace*
Grace is an orphaned 15-year-old girl from Zambia, who contracted HIV from her mother at birth. She attends a school supported by our partner, Zambia’s Child, in Kasompe, Zambia. Grace spent the Christmas holidays with an aunt who, believing stories she had heard about HIV, encouraged Grace to stop taking her anti-retroviral medication (ARV). When the new school year started, Grace’s teachers noticed that she wasn’t well. They helped her access medical care and she was provided with counselling about the importance of taking ARVs. If she had not restarted ARVs, Grace’s immune system would have broken down completely. She is now back on medication, and recently sat her end of term school tests!
Neighbours like Chris
Chris from Western Sydney, was exposed to domestic violence, drug use by his parents, and abuse as a child. His schooling ended in year 8. Chris started using drugs to avoid his emotions, which ended up in a cycle of crime to feed a raging drug habit. His entire leg was amputated following health complications resulting from being a regular drug user, injecting into his groin. A pattern of crime and time inside prison saw his daughter taken by FACS, and his relationship with the mother of the child came to an end. Chris was referred by the court to our partner Break The Cycle, Glenquarie. The Chaplain started working closely with Chris. He signed up to their course Sorted! Life skills for men and received ongoing encouragement and support. Chris is now contemplating the completion of a TAFE course, and is an active member of his local church.
Neighbours like Jendaya*
Jendaya is a teenage girl in Zimbabwe, responsible for walking over two hours a day to collect water for her family. Jendaya is responsible for collecting water for her family. It took Jendaya an hour to walk to and from the river – a trip she made twice a day. Plus she often had to queue for a long time at the shallow wells dug along the banks of the river. Our partner, Living Word Ministries, recently constructed a borehole in Jendaya’s village. Now Jendaya no longer misses out on school time because she is fetching water, and the water from the bore is clean, so she is free from disease. She says “Borehole water has changed our lives as we no longer go to the river a distance away from our homes. We are no longer exposed to risk like rape, especially for us girls, or to wild animals when we go to fetch water at dawn or in the evenings…Thank God, my daily routine changed for the better and I now have more time to focus on reading or my academic studies. I have also seen a difference in my general health as l no longer suffer from ceaseless water borne diseases and have started focusing on my school work, which has contributed to my improved performance at school”.
Neighbours like Dimoua
When Anglican Aid’s partner, Reem Bourizk, first met Dimoua (which means 'tears' in Arabic) she was a 10 year old refugee from Syria. She had recently crossed the border from Syria and was living in a makeshift community of tents on a farm outside Reem’s village in northern Lebanon. Dimoua only had rags to wear, no shoes, and was caring for her younger siblings.
When Reem asked Dimoua what gift she would most like to receive, the girl answered, ‘a notebook and pen.’ This simple request prompted Reem and her husband, Emil, to start a school for Syrian refugee children in their home, the School of the Good Shepherd.
The school has changed lives. Not only the lives of Dimoua and the other Syrian children and their families, who now have some hope for the future, but also the lives of people living in the village. There is deep antagonism in much of Lebanon towards Syrians, stemming from Syria’s involvement in Lebanon’s civil war in the 1980s. When Syrian refugees first arrived in Emil and Reem’s village (which is predominantly Christian) there was suspicion and hostility to the newcomers. In fact, when Reem went to purchase the notebook and pen for Dimoua at a local shop, the shopkeeper at first refused to sell the items to her when she learned that they were for a Syrian child.
Now, many families in the village are involved in the school – hosting classes in their garages and driving the mini-bus to the surrounding farms to collect the children for classes each day.
Dimoua is now flourishing at school, and she is known as Farah, which means ‘joy’.
Neighbours like Ananya*
As a young girl, Ananya was a promising student. She was orphaned at age 9 and went to live with an uncle and aunt who promised to let her continue her studies. Her uncle started sexually abusing Ananya. He threatened that if she said anything, she would never finish school. The abuse continued for several years until the uncle’s violence forced Ananya to seek treatment at a local hospital. From there, she was referred to Anglican Aid’s partner, the Bangalore Women’s Safe House. At the safe house she received care, counselling for the trauma she had experienced, and was supported through legal proceedings against her uncle. The safe house provided financial assistance to allow Ananya to continue her studies.
In a culture where girls are often seen as a liability, where early marriage is common, and a fear of shame places enormous pressure on victims to conceal their suffering, there are many women and girls like Ananya who need a refuge and support to escape domestic abuse.
Every woman who works at the safe house has herself experienced domestic abuse. Prompted by their own experience of suffering and Jesus’ love and care for them, their goal is to support the women in their care move from being victims to survivors. Over time, the women become advocates – women who can speak in their communities about the problems of domestic violence, who can promote the work of the Bangalore Women’s Safe House, and who can help others escape abuse and find love and care.
With the support of the safe house, Ananya finished high school and completed a degree in economics. She has now started a law degree and her goal is to be an effective legal advocate for other victims of sexual abuse.
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