Home 2017 ‘Redeeming Innocents’ Christmas Appeal
Help Redeem Innocents this Christmas!
“Now after they [the Magi] had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is
about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night,
and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken
by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.'”
– Matthew 2:13-15
At Christmas we traditionally focus on the birth of Christ, and celebrate through the twelve days of Christmas, ending on 6 January. This date is also Twelfth Night, or Epiphany, when Christ is revealed to the Wise Men, or Magi. Immediately after this revelation to the Wise Men, we encounter the ‘Flight into Egypt’ and the ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ stories, where Mary and Joseph escape the brutal wrath of King Herod and flee to Egypt to safeguard the life of Jesus.
In this story, we tend to focus on the fulfilment of the prophecy from Hosea, which is that the Messiah would be called out of Egypt, and then overlook the clear and present danger to the life of Jesus. Being fully human, we know from the crucifixion that Jesus was physically mortal. As a vulnerable babe he was not in a position to protect himself, and his parents had to respond practically and faithfully to the warning from God.
Sadly, the same thing still happens to children today. We believe children need to be protected. And the good news is that you can help protect them.
Like all parents across the world today, Mary and Joseph wanted to protect and nurture the new life that was their responsibility. With God’s guidance, their practical response was to flee from danger. Today, facing similar crises, many parents do the same, fleeing danger in places such as Syria, Myanmar and South Sudan. In other circumstances, there is no option to flee, and parents have to protect their children in different ways.
In Syria, an estimated 6.5 million children and youth have been affected by the conflict that has been going for more than six years.
Anglican Overseas Aid is supporting the work of our ACT Alliance partner, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in Syria. IOCC is one of the few agencies at work within the borders of this conflict-torn country. They have been providing emergency food and water, education on the prevention of disease, and essential non-food items such as bedding and hygiene kits. Each hygiene kit contains soap, band-aids, paper, pencils, and nappies. These all make a huge difference in allowing children to stay healthy.
At Christmas, we remember that Jesus came to reach out to the most vulnerable, and He calls us to do the same.
In East Jerusalem, the Spafford Children’s Center continues to support traumatised and disadvantaged children, and their parents. In Kenya, the Anglican Church is training teachers to identify and support rape victims and children with suicidal tendencies. In Myanmar, our ACT Alliance partners are working with displaced families and communities in the conflict-ravaged Rakhine region of the country.
In all of these projects, children are the victims of others’ actions. Not only do they suffer direct harm, but they are having their childhood stripped away from them, their innocence replaced by abuse and violence. We can never replace that innocence, but, with your help, our partners can work towards bringing some peace into their lives, and give them hope for the future.
Please also consider a regular donation as this will help us in our planning for future years. We will help you to stay informed about what progress is being achieved. Please also keep praying for children at risk as they struggle through very difficult circumstances.
Thank you in anticipation of your support. It really is very much appreciated.
To donate to our Redeeming Innocents 2017 Christmas Appeal, please click on the ‘Please Donate’ button below (choose ’01. 2017 (B) Christmas Appeal Online’ from the ‘Donation’ drop-down menu) or call us on 1800 249 880.
Alternatively, you can send a cheque/money order made payable to Anglican Overseas Aid to:
Anglican Overseas Aid
Redeeming Innocents Christmas Appeal
P.O. Box 389
Abbotsford, VIC 3067
We have also created a pew sheet for you to distribute amongst your church congregation.
Click here to download the pew sheet for free.