For many Australians, Christmas is a season filled with joy and celebration. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for many people around the world who are affected by poverty or disaster.

Leah almost lost everything – she had to leave her home in Ambae, a small island in Vanuatu.Leah had started a fish project two years earlier to help her make a living for her family. The fish became important to Leah, starting as a source of food and income, and becoming a treasured part of her life. When she heard that an evacuation would take place after the eruption, her thoughts were with her fish immediately. Leah knew the fish might not survive without her care.

Leah wasn’t the only one who experienced loss due to the volcanic activity. The ash and acid rain that fell after the eruption destroyed many residents’ food supply and crops. It contaminated water supplies, and people reported breathing difficulties. Many people were terrified of what might happen next.

The effects of this disaster were huge, but we were able to provide immediate and vital supplies to Leah’s communities through the COCOA emergency appeal. We thank you for your generosity and support.

People like Leah still face many challenges. Separated from their homes and gardens it’s difficult for them to grow food. They have to find new ways to earn an income and are living in temporary shelters indefinitely. It’s unclear whether they’ll be able to return home.

Today your church can help make a difference and bring real changes to people like Leah who are living in poverty.

By participating in the COCOA Christmas offering, your support will not only help bring immediate relief to those who were impacted and displaced by natural disasters, your gift will also help people break the cycle of poverty through our life-changing projects.

The COCOA Christmas Offering is a meaningful way for you and your church to directly show Christ’s love and generosity this Christmas. Join Churches of Christ communities around Australia giving in this season birthed (quite literally) by God’s gift to us in Christ Jesus.

COCOA Christmas Offering envelopes have been sent to each church. If you need more envelopes or further information contact the GMP office – [email protected] or 8352 3466.

Thank you for your partnership in 2018. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

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