A Merry Christmas?

Not for the poor, the helpless and the forgotten.

For a brief few minutes I sat before the TV for an early morning drink only to be confronted by the horrible images of Romania’s orphans under the Ceausescu regime twenty years before. I hurriedly got up and switched the TV off telling God, “I can’t do this!” meaning I could not bear to watch this, not now. I thought I was retreating to the safety of my room only to be confronted on the computer screen I had left opened by the very same video clip. Clicking the on button I watched (worse still heard) the story of how after 20 years some of the 100,000 abandoned orphans were now adults still essentially staying in the same institutions.

“As the care worker unlocked the door and pushed it open, a musty stench of body odour and urine filled the air. There were 10 people crammed into the room, bed-bound on rotting mattresses and lying in their own faeces, some two to a bed. Among the dirty, scarred faces peering above the duvets were the orphans whose plight roused the international community when Romanian orphanages opened their doors to Western journalists in 1990.” (BBC)

Who are human beings? Living beings created in the image of God for whom, according to the bible and Christian theology, Christ died. Yet I wouldn’t be able to say or think so looking at the living beings which the BBC video clip had confronted me with. So distorted, so woeful, so destitute have they become.

And I know that such a tragedy is not confined to one country nor a few countries nor necessarily only to the so-called poor, “third-world”, non-democratic or “rogue” states nor to a distant past in human history.

The day before, I was subjected to a TV (that is, visual) documentary on child brides in the Middle-East and the physical (as well as mental) tortures they had been inflicted with is indescribable. It very much reminds me of how some foreign domestic helps have been treated.

The international community (including my own country) not having the political will to deal with global warming also does not have the political will to deal with abject poverty, physically weak or desperately ill people. Our human society is so bent on personal well-being (which almost always means making money for one’s self, family and business), that there is inadequate sustained or committed movement to really help the poor and the forgotten of our world.

This morning for the first time I came across an artist’s impression of what a RM150 million church in Malaysia will look like. And in my email inbox, there is a desperate request for my help to raise RM250,000 which will pay for a full 12-months’ expenses to run a shelter for trafficked women & children in an emotionally safe and loving environment. “About 40% of the survivors were sex trafficked while 60% were trafficked in labour. Around 13% of the survivors are minors, below the age of 18. All of them had experienced trauma in one form or another, be it physical, sexual or emotional abuse. There were 4 cases of survivors who were pregnant (not by choice)”.

This mail I have not replied to for three weeks already. I am on my knees to pray and think of how to find the necessary funds for such a clearly humanitarian and deserving ministry to the helpless. Where and how will I be able to get even a portion of RM250,000. And what happens to the estimated 25 trafficked human persons if this much-needed resources do not come in time?

How does one celebrate Christmas under the circumstances of such an unequal human society?

Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ who came from heaven to be born a human baby in a manger (for farm animals) because there was no room in the inn in Bethlehem. It isn’t my birthday for me to do as it pleases me. I asked my now seven-year old grand daughter what I should give her for her birthday. In the same way, what could I do which would please and delight you dear Lord Jesus on this your most holy birthday?

Republished with permission from OnGOHing

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