The Westmorland Gazette likes to print local good news and here is some good news from the land of bad news, Iraq.
Rojan is a bright, joyful girl from the village of Zanan in northern Iraq.
She adores her beautiful homeland – though it hasn't always been so tranquil and fertile.
In 1988, Saddam Hussein’s bombs flattened the village as part of his vendetta against Kurdish Iraqis.
The community faced the daunting task of rebuilding with few resources to rebuild homes and replace crops with the threat of violence hanging over them.
Aged 15, Rojan remembers growing up “There were no trees. It looked abandoned and empty. You couldn't see any water and there wasn't even one green spot. We didn't have enough water even for ourselves.”
With Christian Aid support, Zanan now has a reservoir, which provides drinking and irrigation water, and Rojan’s family have stocked it with fish which they catch to eat and sell at the market. They have planted 1,000 eucalyptus and olive trees.
So when the familiar red envelope comes through your door in Christian Aid Week, think what you can give in love for the poor people of the world for whom Jesus has a special concern.
May I echo Rojan’s Dad in thanking you for your kindness. “It is lovely and good to act in charity. No one can pay you back: only God can pay you back.”
The Rev Martin Jayne
Churches Together in Kentdale