“What do you have in your house?”
Photo: Nigist from an Ethiopian Self Help Group. Credit: Tearfund Canada
A few years ago, I had the idea to try my hand at gardening. For most of my life, both my parents and my grandparents had their own vegetable and fruit gardens. It wasn’t uncommon for us to come back to our house in the summer and find fresh sweet corn (the holy grail of US Midwestern harvests) placed on our porch by my grandparents. I often remember when my parents would be cooking dinner and find they would need an extra tomato or pepper—they’d run out to the garden and grab one. When I was younger, I didn’t fully appreciate that, but as the years went by, I missed it more and more. I thought I would try to recreate that as best I could.
In Mark 12.31, Jesus tells us to first love God with all our hearts and, secondly, to love your neighbour as yourself.
It sounds like a simple and easy command, but...
“Who will speak up for the vulnerable children?”
We are living in times of significant upheaval and change. The societal and economic disruption brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, worsening weather-related disasters and numerous conflicts around the world have displaced millions, affected food supplies, and destabilised economies. The scale and magnitude of the problems can feel overwhelming at times. But we have confidence that God is good.
I recently read two news stories about food. In Ireland, only one story was a headline but both stories centred around access to food. Each year there is a report which identifies how countries rank in terms of food security. The 2022 Global Food Security Index1 ranks Ireland as number two, out of one-hundred thirteen countries assessed, in four categories that contribute to an overall score. Last year, Ireland was ranked as number one.
We are living in extremely challenging times. Geo-political conflicts are resulting in millions of people being displaced from their homes, forcing them to seek refuge in other countries. There is increasing concern of rising inflation and shortage of fuel, wheat and grain. Health care services around the globe continue to strain under the effects of the coronavirus, and we have yet to identify the broader impacts on the well-being of people following the pandemic. Experts repeatedly warn of the dangers caused from globally rising temperatures and we’ve witnessed food shortages, crop failures and weather events which impact those in low-income countries more severely.
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,'
A number of churches and organisations are joining together for a day of prayer and fasting on Sunday, 2nd January 2022. When I was contacted and asked if Tearfund Ireland would consider supporting this endeavour, my decision was immediate. Yes, we will support it.
I got to see my mother this week. I was delighted as I had not seen her for more than 18 months due to Covid-19 restrictions. This is just one small example of how the pandemic has impacted the way we live our lives. Where we work, how we travel, when, where and how we interact with others. These impacts have been challenging. These impacts have been obvious.
“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
"No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half its citizens.
Mother of four, Aster Getachew is a member of the“Siquwa” SHG and lives in Sodo city, Ethiopia.
Stephen Jenkinson was the Country Director for three years for the Umbrella Foundation, an Irish organisation who support the closure of corrupt children’s homes, with the help of local authorities.. He has been on the Irish Board since 2012, with his main role being the support of the team in Nepal. After completing his Masters in Development Studies from Kimmage DSC, with a thesis exploring life skills education in institutional care in Nepal. He worked with GOAL in its post-earthquake response in Nepal and later its Syrian response. He currently lives with his family in Melbourne where he is working with young people living in out-of-home care.
There are a number of questions to address when we open the conversation about Care Reform. Firstly, the terminology can be tricky in this area, so let’s start there, shall we?
Year Two of the EU Project, VIVID:T, is well underway, and at Tearfund Ireland we’re looking forward to everything this project has in store in 2021.
I love to hear the Irish accent of WHO’s Dr. Mike Ryan each time he is interviewed. I also love what he has to say. In this interview before Christmas (below), as he...
For Alea’s family in northern Syria, their cotton farm provided for all their needs. ‘We were in heaven in Syria,’ she says. She stayed as long as she could after the bombing began in 2011. The family would hide in the space between the wall and the fridge when they heard planes overhead. Alea was pregnant and frightened, but when her children began begging her for bread she knew it was time to run.
We are so grateful for all the donations we have received in response to the blast in Beirut on August 4th – thank you. The explosion was the latest in a series of...
The massive blast that took place at the port of Beirut late in the afternoon August 4 left an important part of the city laying in apocalyptic ruin. The explosion was felt all the way to Cyprus. Many have died, thousands have been injured and a the scale of the damage is estimated to be into the billions.
This calamity could not have come at a worse time for a country on the brink of financial collapse and social implosion, while the number of coronavirus cases there have surged in recent days.
MERATH, the relief and development arm of LSESD, our partners in Lebanon, although affected themselves are assisting in the emergency response with food, hygiene supplies and shelter for those affected. They have also been providing make-shift accommodation for many of the medical first responders. As the effects of the disaster became more evident over the weekend our partners are among many local volunteers who have begun opening their homes to provide emergency shelter for some of the 300,000 people who made homeless by the blast.
Rehabilitation of homes, schools and other buildings will be a massive undertaking and needs to start as soon as possible. Schools were due to go back in just 3 weeks. As you’re aware from media outlets, the international community is working on financial aid and other supports while the Lebanese people are expressing a collective frustration in the aftermath of the explosion.
The following support is being provided:
Tearfund Ireland is responding to this crisis in Beirut through prayer and financial support to our partners in Lebanon who are already making an impact. If you would like to donate to the Beirut Crisis please click here.
Tensions and unrest in ethiopia
We are in regular contact with our staff and partners in Ethiopia following unrest in the country this week. It is reported that nearly 200 people have been killed in violent clashes sparked by the killing on 29 June of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa who was from the Oromia region. Please pray for peace to be restored to this country which is facing multiple crises at this time.
SYRIAN REFUGEES AND THE
CHALLENGES OF DISTANCE LEARNING
The Syria crisis has had a profound impact on the whole of the Middle East but, as a host nation for about 1.5 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon has felt it keenly. Yet, the overcoming faith of the Lebanese church is one of the brightest sparks of hope in the midst of the ongoing crisis. Tearfund’s partner in Lebanon, MERATH, has many inspiring stories of how thousands of Syrian refugees are turning to the church for help.
All people are created in the image of God. This is not a mere, wistful nicety nor is it solely a doctrinal position. This is a statement of truth. A fundamental, axiomatic, biblical truth. God created all people. The act of creation entails intent, which implies purpose which, in turn, indicates God had a reason for creating different people groups. His command to ‘be fruitful, multiply and have dominion’ was an instruction to guide our role as stewards of Creation – not to be used against our fellow human beings.
All people are created in the image of God. Therefore, we believe that people of all races have an inherent dignity as an individual who reflects the image and purpose of God.
Our second virtual Game Night on Saturday was another great success!. Your support helped us to raise over €1,700 euro total for our Coronavirus responses in Lebanon and Ethiopia!
The picture (right) shows Aoibheann Clarke and family, our winner from Saturday night.
We are going to do every Saturday night - all different questions, same wonderful cause.
If you played and enjoyed yourself, please let your friends know and encourage them to buy a ticket and join us on Saturday!
Our virtual Game Night on Saturday was a great success!. Your support helped us to raise over a thousand euro for our Coronavirus responses in Lebanon and Ethiopia!
The picture (right) shows Katie Prather, our winner from Saturday night, finishing off the crust of a pizza
We are going to do it all over again this Saturday night - different questions, same wonderful cause.
We would love to raise at least the same amount, if not more. If you enjoyed yourself, please let your friends know and encourage them to buy a ticket and join us on Saturday!
We are currently experiencing a whole new terrain. Our society is not used to such drastic changes in our everyday lives, in such devastating ways. We are secure in our livelihoods and our vulnerabilities are not often laid bare. But the recent Corona virus has taken Ireland and the entire world by storm. Within a short period of time, the virus has stripped lives, jobs, and businesses and pushed hospitals and morgues to their capacities. Our economies and infrastructures are struggling. Life changed in an instant and, for most of us, this is something new to navigate. Our livelihoods have been challenged in an unprecedented way.
At the heart of Tearfund is our calling to ‘remember the poor’. For Tearfund staff, it didn’t take long for us to realise that beyond the disruption of our day to day working lives in our Dublin office our overseas partners were facing a much bigger problem as Covid-19 made landfall in some of poorest countries on the planet. Our partners are working in Ethiopia, Cambodia and Uganda and with Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are densely packed into makeshift shelters waiting for peace and the possibility to return home. These are countries with much fewer resources than Ireland to face this pandemic – for example in Uganda it is estimated that there are more Government Ministers than ICU beds.
‘I pray that God the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.’
Dear friends and supporters of Tearfund,
A story of twin brothers in Cambodia
Teacher Training in South Sudan: