A Belated Christmas Message from Aleppo
We have just received Archbishop Jean Jeanbart’s 2015 Christmas message. No, he wasn’t late in sending it – it’s dated November 30, 2015. But it was mailed from Aleppo, Syria, where Jeanbart is the Melkite Greek Archbishop. It’s pretty remarkable it arrived at all.
In the past, the archbishop has told us of the daily struggles of his people, and of the rocket attacks he has personally endured. We feared Aleppo would be encircled by the Islamic State, and all of the 100,000 Christians still living there martyred. Now that seems like a remote eventuality, with the international community pushing for a cease-fire.
Archbishop Jeanbart writes:
We are doing everything we can to sustain [our people] and help them in this adversity that is killing them pitilessly. We do our utmost to remain at their side and relieve their suffering, while giving them courage.
Our humanitarian initiatives are proceeding apace. We are giving financial support, scholarships, medical care, food aid, hygienic supplies to thousands of people. This year we launched a program that provides water to homes and for a great number of particularly vulnerable families we have installed cisterns that hold more than a 100 gallons of waters to give them a reserve supply; and a team of young people is making sure that elderly have access to drinkable water in their homes. We also managed to hook up a number of poor families to generators that are supplying electricity …. Last but not least, we just launched a center for professional training and formation for the construction trade, and we have begun the repair of numerous homes damaged in bombing attacks. A thousand families could take advantage this year of the fuel we bought them so that they could heat their homes.
Help SPC help the Church in Aleppo. We are not limited by our founding documents to supporting only sacred projects (rebuilding churches, priestly formation), which means we can help the local Church in whatever way they deem most urgent.