Share your family Christmas dinner with a Christian refugee family
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This Christmas, Aid to the Church in Need (Malta) has said that it is inviting families in Gozo to share their Christmas meal with Christian families who lost everything when they fled their homes in Iraq and Syria to escape from Islamic State terrorists.
ACN Malta explained that they are not actually asking you to invite a family from the Middle East into your home for Christmas! "That would not be practical."
"What we are suggesting is an idea proposed by Fr Khalil Jaar, who cares for 400 displaced Syrian and Iraqi families at his parish in Jordan, when he visited Gozo last October. All you have to do is set a symbolic extra place at your Christmas table and donate whatever you plan to spend per person on your Christmas meal, either at home or in a restaurant."
ACN Malta said that these donations will provide "Parcels of Love" containing food items for displaced families. "Many of them can no longer afford a special meal at Christmastime and may have lost some of the relatives and friends they would have spent Christmas with in the past as a result of violence."
This year ACN is again providing Christmas food parcels for 13,500 displaced Christian families from Mosul and Nineveh, as it has done since Islamic State forced millions of Christians in the Middle East to flee their homes.
With financial aid from ACN, for the last three months local workers have been assembling many thousands of Christmas packages, ready for distribution to displaced families who sought shelter in the Kurdistan province of Erbil, Iraq. Other Christmas parcels are also being sent to thousands of displaced Syrian families currently living in Lebanon and Jordan.
"Share your love and prosperity with these families – give them a Christmas gift they'll never forget!" ACN Malta said, please send a cheque made out to ACN (Malta) in an envelope marked "Share your Christmas meal" by regular post to the following address: ACN Malta, 39b, Mdina Road, Attard, ATD9038 Malta.
Donations can also be made via bank transfer to Bank of Valletta Plc, IBAN: MT89 VALL 2201 3000 0000 40022153 500. Please send an email with "Share your Christmas meal" in the title to firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know when the donation transfer payment was made.
ACN Malta is the local office of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN ), an international Catholic organisation which primarily strives to help nurture the faith and well-being of persecuted and suffering Christians worldwide. Founded in 1947 by Fr Werenfried van Straaten, whom St John Paul II named "An outstanding Apostle of Charity."
ACN supports important projects undertaken by the local Church (bishops, priests, Sisters and lay people) in over 130 countries including Iraq and Syria. These range from giving aid to refugees and building churches to providing essential transport for our field workers and even distributing copies of our Child's Bible.
While ACN gives full permission for the media to freely make use of the charity's press releases, please acknowledge ACN as the source of stories when using the material.
Photographs: By ACN (Malta)