Independence for the Poor & Oppressed Volume 1, Issue 3
“Joy, Joy, Joy”
by Meredith Long
International Program Director
Our first Christmas in rural
Bangladesh, my wife Kendra
was determined to tell the
Christmas story in the Bengali
language. So our language
teacher, Mr. Ali, translated one
of our children’s Christmas
picture books. Kendra, a great
storyteller, practiced on each
colorful page until she felt
Photo courtesy of Mohammad Moniruzzaman
confident to give it a try.
At the time, she didn’t
know the impact the message
One morning, Kendra
asked her friend Amina, a
poor village woman, to come
listen. A Muslim like most
other villagers, Amina lived
in a thatched house with her
husband and his other wife.
(Continued on Page 2)
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
3 Letter from the President 6 The Gift of a Rebuilt Life
4 The Gift of an Education 8 How You Can Help
5 The Gift of a Microloan 1
(Continued from Page 1)
tHE GIFT OF A SAVIOR
Amina and Kendra sat usually born in the dirtiest “Amina,” said Kendra,
down together and opened part of the house. But not pointing in the direction
the book. in the filth of a cowshed! of the nearest town, “if the
Kendra showed Amina She, better than any of us, richest man in Bhanugach
how Mary, a had a newborn
very pregnant son, would you be
young woman, able to go to his
rode the donkey house to celebrate
to Bethlehem the baby’s birth?”
alongside Joseph. “No, never.”
She told how “Do you
Jesus was born understand,
in the stable, then, why Jesus
and how angels was born in a
announced his cowshed? He was
birth to a group coming not to the
of shepherds. rich, but to all of
Then, she turned us. Joy, joy, joy!”
the last page to 2000 years
reveal a picture of Mary, ago, in a cowshed, Jesus
holding her newborn, became God with us. He
and the words, “Joy, joy, “I am the light is still with us. Every day
joy!” of the world. throughout the world,
Kendra looked up at the men and women of
Amina and was surprised
Whoever follows World Concern get to
that, far from joy, she had me will not walk become the Christmas
tears in her eyes. “What’s in darkness, but story: God’s love sent to
wrong?” Kendra asked, the poor, weak, despised
“Why are you crying?” will have the and rejected. As we work
“Jesus was a king— light of life.” to relieve their poverty,
an important person— we’re honored to show
and he was born in a them how valuable they
cowshed.” are to our King. Thank
Amina, hearing the knew what a cowshed was you for joining us. We
Christmas story for the really like. She understood wish you Jesus’ hope and
first time, had had no rosy the grim reality of poverty. joy, joy, joy!
pictures of nativity scenes
in warm, clean living
rooms smelling of good Spread God’s Word: $50
food. Since local villagers Help a rural church share God’s love. Check out the
unclean, babies were Global Gift Guide™ at www.worldconcern.org/ggg
2 World Concern SOLUTIONS
I can’t think of anything better
than a child’s beaming smile on
Christmas morning. What an
opportunity to celebrate God’s gift
of Christ by giving gifts to others!
As my kids approach adulthood, I
get nostalgic for those Christmas
Eves when our children were so full
of anticipation that they couldn’t
But there’s another story. o tire e sl
work tirelessly for
loving field staff work tirelessly for
y are desperate help.
Millions of children in developing people they are desperate to help. p.
countries spend Christmas like e
n see the results, my
And when I see the results, m
n hat have d ne
every other day–living in mud huts, heart is content that we have done e
or makeshift shelters in refugee in
agine our avenly
good work. Imagine our heavenly v y
Well done ” an
W l one! and
camps. They don’t know of the gift Father saying, “Well done!” and
of a Savior. Many u ther n
ou brothers and
our brothers and
lack the most basic s f ly
needs and live “Millions of heir
under oppressive children in newfound freedom.
rule that stifles any I tough
hope for a better
future. countries spend the gifts you give
That’s where are even more
Christmas like meaningful. We
we come in—you,
me and our World every other day– need your financial
Concern staff and prayer support!
living in mud
and volunteers. Be assured that we
We provide huts, or in will honor your
life-sustaining refugee camps.” sacrificial giving
support through by prayerfully
disaster relief and strategically
and nutritional programs. We utilizing the resources you provide
create opportunity for economic to bring joy and freedom. Give
independence through education, generously and do what you can.
job training and microloans. You’ll never regret equipping us to
And we point the way to spiritual make a difference in people’s lives!
freedom by sharing the gospel May you have a joy-filled
where we can; first—wordlessly—by Christmas!
serving people and then through
What a gift we give! It brings David Eller
tears of pain and joy to see how our President, World Concern
are in Flower
Education B angladesh. Eight-year-
old Nurnobi is excited.
Dhaka. Thanks to World
Project He has just received…
not toys…but new school
Education Project (see
sidebar), education is a
books! The second grader way out of poverty for
World Concern’s studies diligently in his Nurnobi—who has been
Grassﬂower Education family’s one-room tin-shed in school for two years—
Project in Bangladesh home, while other kids unlike his sister who never
play as he once did—in the had that opportunity.
provides rural schools
Darussalam slum outside. World Concern’s
with teacher training Grassflower Education
and salaries, books Project supports Nurnobi’s
and school supplies— rural school and provides
ensuring quality learning materials to
education. children otherwise unable
Each year, 3,600 to afford them. He is a
good student; he can read
poor and neglected
and write simple sentences;
children in 37 schools and it’s easy to see why
receive a primary the teachers love him.
education. They encourage him to
The Grassﬂower work toward his dream of
Education Project is becoming an engineer.
one of several World
Not only is this boy out
Ever since Nurnobi’s father of the slum; he now shares
died seven years ago, World Concern’s vision: “I
programs. Last year in his mother, Saleha, has want to serve poor people
Somalia, Bangladesh, struggled to support him who don’t have help,”
Thailand, Cambodia, and his sixteen-year-old he says. With the gift of
Nepal and Haiti we sister, with no help from education, this child’s story
gave the gift of an relatives; Saleha scrapes is just beginning—who
by with her earnings as a knows how many lives he’ll
education to 6,911
maid-servant in nearby touch?
children who were
by the tsunami, hearing one year’s tuition: $45
impaired, or at risk for Send a child to school. Check out the
Global Gift Guide™ at www.worldconcern.org/ggg
4 World Concern SOLUTIONS
B olivia. This country of rich tradition is among
Latin America’s poorest. Elvira was among the
60 percent of the population that lives in poverty.
Nearly thirty when she found herself abandoned
by her second husband, Elvira searched all day for
work, then returned to find her three children crying
from hunger. Realizing her struggle, her parents
took in her youngest, which meant one less mouth to
feed, but was deeply painful for Elvira. She began to
Recognizing her need, a friend helped her find
space at market and loaned her tools to make and
sell food. “At that time, I didn’t even own a spoon,”
Elvira explains. Her tiny income was just enough to
feed her children.
At the market, Elvira heard about World
Concern’s microcredit program. Though fearing
rejection, she mustered the courage to attend one of
Elvira: from Despair to Hope
The group pools its savings to loan to members.
In a year’s time, They were concerned about Elvira’s reliability, but
we extended: extended her $150. She was elated! Determined to
win trust, she bought a stove, pots, oven and table—
and paid it back. Now, two loans later, she makes
enough to pay bills, provide for her children and
mostly to women,
in Bolivia, Haiti and
Beyond supporting her business, group members
helped Elvira learn to read fluently. Her motive?
To understand the Bible she received through our
tailor-ﬁt to meet
program. The facilitator explains, “Her questions are
honest and challenging, and sometimes it is hard to
give her answers!” And Elvira’s learning to pray.
Find out more at
Instead of rejection, she has found acceptance;
www.worldconcern.org/ instead of despair—hope. Our microloan program is
microloans lifting her from poverty, while opening the door for
her to receive the greatest gift of all: Christ.
first-time small business Loan: $125
Help a mom start her own business and lift her children out of poverty.
Visit the Global Gift Guide™ online at www.worldconcern.org/ggg
A Rebuilt Life
Disaster Response for
M yanmar. Everyone
has a Cyclone Nargis
story. As the night of May
in Myanmar. The storm
may have left its mark on
every street corner and on
Since the storm, 2 raged, 35-year-old Ma untold numbers of families,
• 13,435 people Nge held her three children but there’s rejoicing as
received a one-month tightly as they shivered we present new, cyclone-
food supply beneath a plastic sheet. Fear resistant homes to people
• 40,000 people gripped her as the bamboo who lost theirs in the storm.
(estimated) received frame of their thatched hut So far, we’ve reached
food provided by us began breaking up and the around 50,000 people.
through local partners palm-leaf roof blew away. Donated funds have
• 5,913 people have Daylight revealed a provided blankets and
access to cleaner water surreal, flooded landscape clothing, fresh water,
• 400 houses are of damaged and destroyed medicines, soap, and roofing
planned for homes and felled trees. The materials.
construction family drank muddy water Currently, we’re
• A mobile sawmill will and watched the tree-strewn addressing health needs
salvage wood from road, finding no help. But and identifying children left
fallen palms three days after the storm, vulnerable to traffickers. As
• 73 villages are being help did come! A local we continue to work, we’re
assessed by 4 teams of organization delivered rice, honored to see fear and pain
doctors and nurses. potatoes, salt and water, being replaced with joy, as
• Mobile clinics are provided by World Concern. people receive the gift of
planned Seven months later, hope for a rebuilt life.
• Mosquito nets and World Concern is still
hygiene kits are being
Disaster aid to one family: $50
education will be Check out the Global Gift Guide™ at
World Concern SOLUTIONS
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Honor your loved ones this Christmas with a
thank you gift from World Concern’s Global Gift Guide.™ ™
for your support. n
You can build a well, sponsor a child, or buy an
animal for a poor family.
Your gift to World
Concern is tax-deductible u
You’ll receive a card for your loved one, telling about the
gift made in their name, and you’ll know that you’ve honored
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will receive a receipt.
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