Each year, our Christmas Care project ensures many children in restricted nations receive a gift at Christmas. Children of persecuted families can be particularly vulnerable to discrimination, harassment and bullying. In restricted nations, persecution often brings poverty and hardship so parents of persecuted children are unable to provide gifts at this special time of year.
Last year Voice of the Martyrs Australia provided 3,665 Christmas Care packs for children in Myanmar, Philippines, Egypt, Pakistan, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Malaysia and Palestine.
Each child will receive a children’s Bible or storybook, school supplies and other items, tailored to their specific country (which may include food, a toy, education costs, clothing and hygiene items). Contents are sourced locally and the packs are distributed by VOM frontline workers. The packs are used to bless persecuted Christian children but our frontline workers, with a strong desire to also expand God’s kingdom, reserve a small number for outreach.
You can bless a persecuted Christian child this Christmas by gifting $30 for a Christmas Care pack.
CHRISTMAS CARE PACKS
This year we hope to send Christmas Care packs to Nigeria, Philippines, Malaysia, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Myanmar, Egypt, Cameroon, Palestine and Vietnam. Instead of worrying about finding the perfect gift for your loved one this Christmas, consider giving them a present that will bring joy to children of the persecuted church. Let us know that your donation is a gift. We will send you a card that you can give to your loved one. The card contains a message letting them know that you have given them the opportunity to bless a child with a Christmas Care pack. You can bring joy to a child of the persecuted church by gifting $30.
Go to vom.com.au/christmascare
We delivered much-needed food, supplies and Christian literature, including New Testaments, adolescent ministry material and the Story of Jesus to eight different locations. Some areas were near and around Yangon, while others were more rural. Before we distributed the gifts we offered prayer. Even the local business owners who supplied the items were pleased with the project. It helped them too.
“Our family would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation on behalf of our church for your gifts. Through your generosity and support, we were able to place a Bible in the hands of each of the children. They have never had a Bible and they wanted it badly. Your gift and generosity was a perfect provision for every one of them. Thank you so much again.” – Local pastor
“We unexpectedly received these packages from God through donors from abroad. God has fulfilled His promises. He cares for us. He is with us. You could have just brought a few things as a duty, but you didn’t. Instead you have brought the best with you to include in these packs with care and love for us. I feel the love of God through them.” – Wife of pastor
The people in Gaza and the West Bank were overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness of their brothers and sisters living in other countries. The families were relieved that their children were provided for during the Christmas season.
We stand with children who face danger and persecution every day because of their faith, living in a predominantly Muslim culture – particularly at Christmas when they can feel especially isolated and vulnerable.
The beneficiaries of the packs were children living in the outskirts of Alexandria, where Christians are facing persecution from the Salafist and fanatical Muslims. The children received a backpack, school stationery, a towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, a Holy Bible in Arabic and return transport to a meeting place for a celebration.
“I just want to say that God is very sweet for taking care of me, I feel neglected at home but today God is saying to me that I am valuable to Him!” – Christmas care pack recipient.
“This project was an amazing opportunity for us to show God’s love to the children and their families. Now they are welcoming us to visit them and read from the Bible they received, about God, the Creator and the Saviour.” – Local pastor
Gifts for children included clothing, dried fruit, biscuits, sweets, storybooks, colouring pencils and colouring books. Bibles were given to those who could read.
These gifts were mainly distributed among Sunday school children, brick kiln children, and poor and needy Christian families. We distributed these gifts in the slum areas of Lahore and adjacent areas like Lalyani, Kahana, District Kasure and Faisalabad, where the majority of Christians are poor and really appreciate these Christmas gifts.
This year we were able to include several prisoners’ families, especially victims of the blasphemy laws, in our distribution list. We learned from the recipients that these Christmas Care packs were not just Christmas gifts for them, but much more than that, as some of them had no hope at all for such support from anywhere during this pandemic.
“There are no words to express my gratitude that you have shown my children the love of God through your willingness to provide a gift for them. Otherwise, my children might not have had anything to open this Christmas.” – Mother of pack recipient
Children living in persecuted and conflict areas live through traumatic events that remind them of suffering and violence. Many have lost their parents, brothers and sisters. The majority cannot attend school because of insecurity.
The Christmas Care programme put a smile on these children’s faces and revived their hope in Christian brotherhood and God’s care for them. The distribution included Bibles, toys, shoes, clothing and bags.
The Christmas Care packs brought happiness to children who had already experienced so much pain and trauma in their lives. They could feel the love and passion of Christ’s church who they felt has not left them alone. Moreover, the contents of the packs were able to minister to their physical and spiritual well-being. Bibles and Christian storybooks (a story about the Apostle Paul) received by these children were, for many of them, the first in their lives.
“My name is Monique. We are so happy today and it’s by God’s grace. We thank our brothers for this gift. I speak on behalf of all mothers that are here to thank you. We see the presents, the Christmas gifts. We see here food, blankets, and Bibles. We are so thankful. It was not easy to wait for Christmas but you were thinking about us giving us these Christmas gifts.
Our prayer is that God will repay what you have done, and may God strengthen you in the work you are doing. May He equip you so you may also help others. In the end, I thank Jesus and ask God to strengthen you.” – Mother of pack recipient.
Praise the Lord for the Christmas Care project. The children and the parents were so happy with the gifts they received during this period of the pandemic and it’s a blessing for the suffering and needy churches. They are saying that God’s care is upon them.
The pastors are so thankful and encouraged too, for it is the Word of God that changes souls.