Because 'Love Came Down' - even in the face of domestic abuse
“Merry Christmas – God loves you”. With those words, young Chrissie McLean of Gun Bay United Church captured an enduring truth that she wanted some other children, both younger and older than herself, to be reminded and reassured of. In all circumstances, even in times of displacement, homelessness, confusion and even fear, “God loves you”!
And that Christmas is that time of year when we especially celebrate and remember the extent of God’s love; of how God sought out humans of all walks of life and in different predicaments to give us all true Hope, peace and a reconciled relationship with Him.
Once again we have looked anew at our assistance for The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, which is significantly dependent on private support for basic supplies and food for the women and children who have had to seek refuge with them. As at the end of November they had 50 women plus 43 children for whom they are caring either in their Home or in their after-care programme, as these mothers seek to get re-established in new homes, and sometimes employment. In some cases they have had to abandon even clothes for their jobs, etc., and therefore need at least temporary assistance of many kinds until things can be sorted out legally or they can otherwise re-establish themselves.
Regrettably, it seems there is usually a spike in the number of incidences of abuse and of women and children having to flee homes as we celebrate The Season of Love, and the Crisis Centre is not immune to this ironic rise in demand for its services at this time of year.
We therefore renewed our efforts amongst our congregations to provide some of these basic needs, as well as gifts and books to try to brighten the lives of the forty-three children, ranging in age from an ‘incredible’ 2 months to 16 years, especially at Christmas. Such work is part of our stated objectives on alleviating and stamping out child and other domestic abuse, gender inequality, sexual harassment, etc., as well as, in a true and an extended way, our desire to be a truly Children Friendly Church.
Thankfully, once again God has blessed us with, and reminded us of, the ability to respond to help alleviate these needs. And young Chrissie has been a remarkable example to us all in this effort. When she heard in her Church of the supplies and gifts we were seeking to provide she was apparently particularly moved with concern for the children and wanted to ensure they would all receive at least one gift at Christmas. So she initiated a ‘giving tree’ at Gun Bay United. Her Mother noted that Chrissie would not go to sleep that night before she had made 43 of the rounded and decorated cards, each with the gender and age of one of the 43 children currently in the care of the Crisis Centre, to be hung on the tree for congregants to take and provide an appropriate gift (and it seems she again led by example in the giving)! And, as will have been seen, she took the opportunity to remind everyone of what is behind our desire to give – because God loves us all (and it is God’s love that compels us to love others and enables us to do whatever good we do). The pictures below show Chrissie setting up the ‘giving tree’ and, respectively, many of the gifts for the children and the supplies that congregants from a number of our Congregations were blessed to be able to give to for the women and children of the Crisis Centre this Christmas.
Let us remember to continue to give supplies to the Centre to whatever extent we can throughout the year – the need is always there and God wants to help all the time.May we also continue in a renewed time of special prayers not only for the women and children and for the staff of CICC, but also for the reduction and elimination of domestic abuse.
[Wishing all our a readers a wonderful and God-blessed Christmas and year ahead – “God loves us”!]
Posted by: Administrator Wednesday Dec 24, 2014 07:54
Categories: Christmas, Encouragement, Prayer, relief, Youth | Tags: adversity, back to God, Boys, children, encouragement, Girls, helping others, Jesus, Justice, Prayer, Renewal & Transformation, starting over, strengthening, Women