Love thy neighbour. every

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1 Love thy neighbour every

2 Presentation notes These notes will help you share the stories of Morsheda and Feroza with your congregations, groups or classes this Christian Aid Week. Please adapt the script to suit you. One way you might choose to use it is to have three different people read it aloud: a narrator, plus two people to read Morsheda and Feroza s quotes (in italics). Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the people living on the low-lying islands on the Brahmaputra river are among the poorest of the poor. Each year, flooding comes, threatening to sweep away everything these families have. Use these stories to inspire your listeners with the difference their support makes. Together with Christian Aid they are lifting our global neighbours like Morsheda and Feroza to safety. How to view this PDF full screen PDF files can be viewed as full screen presentations in Acrobat reader. To open full screen mode in Windows, select View > Full Screen Mode or hold down the Ctrl + L key. For Mac, hold down the Cmd + L key. To go to the next page Press Enter, Page Down or the Right Arrow key. To go to the previous page Press Shift + Enter, Page Up or the Left Arrow key. To close full screen mode Press Esc. A PowerPoint version of this presentation is also available online at caweek.org 2

3 Presentation notes Page 8 Meet Morsheda Page 10 Morsheda s children fear the river Page 9 Picture a young mother of four. Her husband has left. She has little land, few assets, and no savings. This is Morsheda. She may live in Bangladesh, but she s still our neighbour. Morsheda fears the river Living on a low-lying island on the Brahmaputra river, floods are a terrifying part of Morsheda s everyday life. The single room, corrugated-iron shack she shares with her family has been flooded four times. I feel very scared of the river, she says. When I look at it I keep thinking it is coming. Morsheda s three daughters and her young son know the dangers the floods bring. One year, huge waves crashed against their house giving Morsheda less than an hour to uproot their home and scramble to safety. Racing against time, she gathered her terrified children together and hastily made a raft from a banana tree. At any moment, it could have tipped and plunged them into the swirling waters. She put her youngest child in a cooking pot and clung to it as it floated in the current. Away from everything they owned and everything they knew. Page 11 Everything was shaking because of the wind. I saw the river right in front of my eyes. My children were so scared. My sister was holding them very tightly and we were panicking because our neighbour s child was washed away. 3

4 Presentation notes Page 12 Morsheda fears the river Page 14 Morsheda s children fear the river Page 13 Each year, the floods threaten to sweep away the little she has. Without livestock and a safe place to tend animals and grow crops, the only income Morsheda can get is from doing hard manual labour for as little as 74p a day. I have to work very hard to survive my daily life. As a day labourer it is not easy to get work because it is seasonal, and I do heavy work, digging and carrying. Because I am a woman I get less. I am not equal to men. They think women don t work as hard. They know they can t count on their home being safe. Last year the water came and it was up to my knees. I tried to raise the bed with bricks and manage it as a shelter for my children. But one night we were asleep and I heard a noise. It was my baby boy and he had fallen into the water. I pulled him out. I was terrified. I decided we couldn t stay here at night. It is very difficult to carry such a heavy weight of jute. I feel a lot of pain in my legs. I feel very bad when I have to work a very long time, but what can I do? If I just stay at home and cry there will be no way out. 4

5 Presentation notes Page 15 Morsheda fears the river Page 16 Morsheda fears the river Morsheda s life is a constant battle, but her faith and her love for her children mean it s one she s passionate about fighting. I don t know where I get my strength to fight on, but I am blessed to have it. God is supporting me. If he wasn t I would not have survived. He has given me the support of my neighbours. But Morsheda s life doesn t have to be this way. Creating an earth plinth 6-8ft above water level would give her a safe place to rebuild her house, keep livestock and grow essential crops without worrying they ll be washed away. Come meet Morsheda s neighbour, Feroza, and see what a difference you could make this Christian Aid Week. 5

6 Presentation notes Page 17 Meet Feroza. Like Morsheda she used to live a life marked by despair and fear. Page 19 A Home Safety Package from Christian Aid changed Feroza s life. River floods swept away her home seven times. Each time, Feroza, her husband and their three children picked up the pieces and started again. But in 2011, the raging waters left the family with nothing but a goat and the bamboo walls of their tiny house. A grant from Christian Aid helped to construct an earth plinth on which to rebuild her home, safely out of reach of future floods. For the first time, Feroza s life was free from fear. Page 18 I feel like crying when I think of all that I ve lost. It feels like a deep sorrow inside. If you lose your house in a fire, you still have the land afterwards. But for your whole house, your land, everything to be lost is too much. Page 20 But what happened next is truly remarkable. The grant Feroza received also meant she could buy a cow, a goat, ducks, chickens, vegetable seeds and a composting wormery. Day by day, these increased her income and her confidence she s since turned her original investment into assets worth 10 times the original amount. 6

7 Presentation notes Page 21 Page 22 I couldn t imagine that this kind of change could happen. I am hard working, but a little bit of money can really change things. What I have received from Christian Aid has changed my life. I never dreamed of it. I think it is a blessing. Today, Feroza s family are healthy and thriving, and she no longer needs charity support. She has confidence and freedom that were unimaginable a few years ago. She s even saving money to move to the mainland, where a brighter future awaits. Page 23 None of this would have been possible without the generosity of Christian Aid supporters like you. As Christians, we believe Jesus calls us to love our neighbours and not just the ones next door or at the end of the street. We re all made in God s image, which means the whole world is our neighbourhood, and every person in it is precious. Thanks to you, the lives of our neighbours, like Feroza and Morsheda, are being transformed. This is what loving your neighbour looks like. 7

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24 Thank you for lifting our neighbours to safety caweek.org

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