How can you be the ‘translation of the incarnation’ and serve as God’s hands and feet for others this Christmas? Whether your neighbours in need are across the street or across the world, they’ll know the Christchild’s love if we bring it to life for them.

One way is to give a Christmas gift to help fight famine. As Jonathan Krause from Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) points out, millions of people across the Horn of Africa are facing a looming famine crisis, as the region enters its fifth consecutive year of drought.

ALWS action from Australia is delivered by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in this area, and LWF Country Rep for Somalia, Girma Gudina, recently visited the Luglow Internally Displaced Persons Settlement there. Girma says: ‘We don’t think the world knows how dire it is here. Drought is taking its toll. Livestock are dying. When they are supposed to be in school, drought has put [children] here in this camp. The world has not seen what is going on here, and they need to see it.’

HELPING TO BRING HOPE

Through ALWS, our Australian and New Zealand Lutheran family is working hard to make sure the people of Somalia are not forgotten, by supplying cash food vouchers. Each voucher (AU$105) enables a family of six to buy one month’s supply of food, including 25 kilograms each of rice, flour and sugar, three litres of vegetable oil and one kilogram of dates. Cash vouchers get help quickly and directly to those who need it most and have extra benefits. Firstly, families maintain their dignity, as they choose what they need, and where they buy it and, secondly, because the food is bought locally, it strengthens the local economy.

ALWS works in partnership with LWF, ACT Alliance and the Australian network of aid agencies – Emergency Action Alliance.

Through ALWS, the aim is to support 300 of Somalia’s worst-hit families for six months. Donations are welcome at www.alws.org.au or you can phone 1300 763 407.

MORE GIFTS THAT CHANGE LIVES

Another way to shine the light of Christ for those facing hunger in Africa is through ALWS Gifts of Grace. There are more than 20 gifts available, with six under $10. All are tax-deductible and all are life-changing from those who benefit from your kindness. For $12 you can supply one month’s emergency food for a mum of a young child in Ethiopia. For more information, visit www.alws.org.au/grace to buy your Gifts of Grace.

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