Posts tagged ‘Christian Aid’

September 5, 2012

Walking at the edge of the world

Last Saturday we joined with a sizeable number of others taking part in the annual Sheep’s Head walk for Christian Aid. The “Sheep’s Head” is a peninsula in West Cork jutting out twenty one kilometres into the Atlantic Ocean and is only four kilometres across at its widest point. It is a truly spectacular location. We started from and finished at Kilcrohane Community Centre, with a very enjoyable walk along the way.

We soon found ourselves up at about 300m above sea level and the views were spectacular. Then what so often happens anywhere along the West coast of Ireland happened – the clouds and mist started to roll in off the sea.

But the light remained bright, so even though we were walking in cloud and fog, the visibility remained good. Just occasionally the veil was lifted and a swirling gap of light presented the opportunity to take a picture of the wonderful and vast scape of land and sea. At times it was hard to see where the sky, sea and land met each other, such was the wonderful array and trickery of the light.

Of course the whole point of the walk was to raise money for Christian Aid. Andrew Coleman and his team of volunteers had (as they always do) done an excellent job of organising the day and making it enjoyable for all ages and walking abilities. In brief but powerful words, Canon Patrick Hewitt reminded us that the distance we had walked that day would be a daily necessity for many, whether to collect water, medicines or simply to go to school. In some small yet not insignificant way the money raised by this event would go to help people a long way from this place, that at that moment we somehow felt a little closer to even though in many ways in comparison with them it felt like we were walking at the edge of the world…

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Link to photos on Flickr:

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January 14, 2010

Haiti

As if I needed any reminder, looking at the picture of the globe in my previous post brought my mind straight back to an unfolding tragedy on the other side of the world, in Haiti. To a country that is already desperately poor and already on its knees comes a devastating earthquake.

Here in Cork, we have a very dedicated and inspirational Christian Aid worker, Andrew Coleman. Last year he spent some time in Haiti so as soon as his email arrived yesterday morning I read it through. Here is an excerpt:

You will have seen that there was a severe earthquake in Haiti last night.
At approximately 16:53 an earthquake hit Haiti. It was measured at 7.3 on the Richter scale. It struck about 15km south-west of the capital and was shortly followed by two strong aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5. There was huge destruction of buildings and a loss of life to many people in Port au Prince the capital. At this moment Christian Aid are launching Appeal in Ireland to support the victims in Haiti. There will be a high level of structural damage, loss of life and damage to water systems, electricity supply and road access. This earthquake has struck an already vulnerable population. In the poorer areas people are very much stretched to the limit.

Christian Aid has a long presence in Haiti and at present is struggling with this destructive earthquake that has just hit the country. The Christian Aid office has been destroyed but all staff has now been recovered. We have many Haitian partner organisations operating over many years in Haiti. Partners have successfully been involved in distributions in previous emergencies…

I think that there will be a huge response to this in terms of church collections and aid from many other quarters. It is beyond heartbreaking to think of tens of thousands of people dead or missing, buried beneath the rubble.

A prayer for Haiti (From Christian Aid Website)

Loving God of creation,
at this time of devastation
we hold before you the people of Haiti.
When the damage is unimaginable,
and the suffering seems overwhelming,
remind us that every person affected
is loved, honoured and precious in your sight.
We remember all those who have been hurt;
all who have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.
Work through us to bring healing
to broken and distorted lives,
peace to those who have been thrown into despair,
light to those in darkness,
and hope to those who fear.
We ask this in the name of Jesus
in whom all life and grace is found.