In May it was Christian Aid Week. This year the focus was on Sierra Leone where, sadly, many women die in childbirth. During Christian Aid Week, several of us used a seven – day Bible reading and prayer devotional as we reflected upon the sorrow, hope and joy of the biblical character, Hannah, becoming a mother. We learned, too, about Tenneh, a mum from Sierra Leone, whose story is also one of both sorrow and hope, having lost her first baby, at three months, but later having given birth to a healthy baby boy.
Christian Aid describes Sierra Leone as the most dangerous place to become a mum, with ten women dying every day from giving birth. And gifts sent to Christian Aid this year are being used to help build more health clinics, provide health training and improve hygiene in Sierra Leone to enable mums and babies to live long and happy lives. Thank you to those of you who gave financially to this project.
Part of the problem in Sierra Leone is that, as a result of the Ebola crisis in 2014, they had to borrow money from other countries to help fight the disease and, consequently, have become saddled with debt. So, coupled with the appeal for financial donations, this year a request has been made for us to petition our Government to ensure all Sierra Leone’s debts on the loans it received for fighting the 2014 Ebola outbreak are written off. We have also been called to ask our Government to take urgent action to prevent new debt crises in developing countries and to tackle them effectively when they arise. If you would like to support this, there is a petition form later on in this magazine for you to use to collect signatures. Or, alternatively, you can download it yourself from caweek.org/resources
We are fortunate to have medical childbirth resources that are freely available in this country. Perhaps you might like to use the prayer below to give thanks for all we have whilst remembering our brothers and sisters who experience sadness in their family life and, in particular, those in the world who don’t have access to the same health care that we do.
God our Mother and Father,
we praise you
for the blessings you shower upon us.
Bless the lives of our sisters and brothers
and their precious children.
In life’s saddest moments,
may we feel your love most, O Jesus.
Continue to dwell in our hearts, Lord.
May your love keep us strong.
With love and prayers,