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                                          Independence for the Poor & Oppressed                        Volume 1, Issue 3




                                                                                             A Savior
                                                                                          “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
                                                                                          would bring.
                                                                                               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)
P




                                          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
                                          www.worldconcern.org
                                          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
                                    (John 8:12)
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
considered childbirth
unclean, babies were           Global Gift Guide™ at www.worldconcern.org/ggg

2                                                             World Concern SOLUTIONS
           D     riends
           Dear Friends,
                  c
                I can’t think of anything better
              an
           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
           even sleep.
                But there’s another story.                             o tire e sl
                                                                    work tirelessly for
                                                 loving field staff work tirelessly for
                                                            y are desperate help.
                                                              are esperate
                                                                         erat
           Millions of children in developing people they are desperate to help.     p.
                                                                                   elp.
           countries spend Christmas like                                e
                                                                         esu ts,
                                                           n see the results, my
                                                 And when I see the results, m
                                                                nt that
                                                                n hat        have d ne
                                                                              a
           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
                                                                              hers
                                                                               e
                                                                    ou brothers and
                                                                    our brothers and
           lack the most basic                                      s          f ly
                                                                    sisters joyfully
           needs and live               “Millions of                                heir
                                                                    proclaiming theire
                                                                                     ei
           under oppressive              children in                newfound freedom.
           rule that stifles any                                         I tough
                                                                         In
           hope for a better
                                          developing                  cono
                                                                    econ
                                                                    economic times,
           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
           the Word.
                What a gift we give! It brings   David Eller
           tears of pain and joy to see how our President, World Concern

www.worldconcern.org                                                                       3
                                    An Education
                                               Nurnobi’s Dreams
                                                  are in Flower
Grassflower
 Education                 B   angladesh. Eight-year-
                               old Nurnobi is excited.
                                                         Dhaka. Thanks to World
                                                         Concern’s Grassflower
  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
Concern’s education
                           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
impoverished, affected
by the tsunami, hearing          one year’s tuition: $45
impaired, or at risk for     Send a child to school. Check out the
trafficking.
                             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
despair.
    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
the meetings.




               A Microloan
                         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—
    14,511 microloans,
                                and paid it back. Now, two loans later, she makes
                                enough to pay bills, provide for her children and
    mostly to women,
                                save.
   in Bolivia, Haiti and
                                     Beyond supporting her business, group members
   Bangladesh through
                                helped Elvira learn to read fluently. Her motive?
  sustainable programs
                                To understand the Bible she received through our
     tailor-fit to meet
                                program. The facilitator explains, “Her questions are
        their needs.
                                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
www.worldconcern.org                                                                5
                   A Rebuilt Life
                                      Disaster Response for
                                                the Hurting
    Repairing A
         Community:
                            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
  distributed
• Anti-trafficking
                                 Disaster aid to one family: $50
  education will be           Check out the Global Gift Guide™ at
  given                       www.worldconcern.org/ggg

6                                                            W
                                                             World Concern SOLUTIONS
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 www.worldconcern.org                                                                                     7
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                                                                  Give a goat! Give a gift that matters.

                                                                                           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
                                                                                         a
                                                                                         animal for a poor family.
Your gift to World
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                      ble
Concern is tax-deductible                                                          u
                                                                                 You’l ece
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as allowed by law, and you                                              Christ – at Chris
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will receive a receipt.
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                                                                        Check it out online: www.worldconcern.org/ggg                                WC_1014

				
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