You may see these flyers in and around your church this time of year. It is a catalogue called “Gifts With Vision” describing the work of the United Church’s local and global partners. Your donations to the Mission and Service Fund support the work of groups like Defence for Children International (DCI). DCI Palestine is a partner of the Church whose work is important as they support children and their families who are negatively impacted by the occupation. For instance they support children who have been arrested and detained and need advocacy, legal and psychological support.
The photo of this child is from a visit I will never forget. We made the visit to Arab ar Ramadin al Janubi on my birthday in 2012. This community lives in the “seam zone” –caught in between the Israel Palestine border and the separation barrier which does not follow the proposed border (the 1967 “green line”). The people we visited are Bedouins and were not allowed to build a school for their children who were obliged instead to cross through military check points from the seam zone into the occupied Palestinian territories. Some of the children, as young as four years old, were terrified to make this journey to school every week. So they erected a series of tents and brought in teachers and started their own school. It was an inspiring visit. We spoke with the teachers and the students. They are an example of people’s resilience and courage in their efforts to provide protection and the best education possible for the children. It was an encounter I will never forget.
At this time of year, Jesus’ birth, reminds us of families and children who are vulnerable—displaced, homeless, impoverished. In spite of all the consumerism of the season, we are reminded of the miraculous birth and that God will ‘show up’ in the most surprising and humble of places. This season reminds us to give and do whatever we can for peace to come on earth.
For more information please see:
Watch this video about the Mission and Service Fund of The United Church of Canada supports partners overseas who are working for peace and justice.
The views contained herein are personal to me and do not necessarily reflect those of the United Church, my employer, EAPPI or the WCC. If you would like to publish the information contained here (including posting on a website), or distribute it further, please first contact me for permission. Thank you.