The image of a cradle – in the form of a humble manger in the middle of a stable – is a powerful symbol in the story of the Nativity of Christ. In many ways, as you will read in these pages, it also reminds me of people and places where your gifts of love are making a difference.
In Iraq – the cradle of civilization – Christians are increasingly in need of protection and basic necessities of life in ever more dangerous circumstances. IOCC has continued work with the Church to provide vital assistance to the beleaguered people in Iraq and planning is underway to find ways to provide more assistance – and to remain in solidarity with families in need.
Like the stable where the Christ child was born, farmers from rural areas of Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro are finding ways to work in common to improve agriculture techniques that will help to increase production and provide a better future.
The Christ child wrapped and placed in a manger also reminds us that the Theotokos was forced by circumstances beyond her control to be away from her home without adequate shelter – much like families still living in make-shift homes in Haiti nearly a year after the earthquake.
And like the angel who announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds, Orthodox priests in Ethiopia are proclaiming vital messages to encourage prevention of HIV/AIDS and care for those who have been infected.
As we reflect on God's love for us this Christmas, we give thanks for your gifts of love that are helping so many in need.
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Constantine M. Triantafilou
Executive Director & CEO