For this Christmas, Aid to the Church in Need (Malta) is inviting families in Malta and Gozo to share their Christmas lunch with Christian families who lost everything when they fled their homes in Iraq and Syria to escape from Islamic State terrorists. No, ACN (Malta) is not actually asking families to invite a family from the Middle East into their home for Christmas as that would not be practical.

What ACN (Malta) is suggesting is an idea proposed in October 2019 by Fr Khalil Jaar, who cares for 400 displaced Syrian and Iraqi families at his parish in Jordan. All one has to do is to donate to ACN (Malta) whatever one plans to spend per person on Christmas lunch, either at home or in a restaurant.

The donations will provide “Parcels of Love”. These consist of packages containing food items for displaced families, temporarily living in Jordan. Many of these people can no longer afford a different meal on Christmas day to help them emotionally. As a result of violence in Syria or Iraq, many have lost some of the relatives and friends they would have spent Christmas with in the past.

Last year, notwithstanding the pandemic, ACN provided Christmas food parcels for 13,500 displaced Christian families in the Middle East. The foundation has been helping these Christians since ISIS brought havoc to these countries and forced millions of Christians to flee their homes. Like the last two years, in the coming weeks ACN will start assembling many thousands of Christmas packages, ready for distribution to displaced families from Iraq and Syria.

“We are being called to share our love and well-being with these unfortunate families who, through no fault of their own, are experiencing constant hardship in their daily lives. A Christmas food parcel will serve to encourage them that not all is lost, and it will help them realise that there are others who want to assist them to overcome their troubles, even on Christmas Day. Fr Khalil Jaar told us that last year’s donations from Malta and Gozo brought an element of joy among these displaced families. This year, ACN (Malta) is hoping to raise a similar amount so that these parcels would arrive at these families in time for Christmas,” said Stephen Axisa, national director of ACN (Malta).

One may send a cheque made out to ACN (Malta) in an envelope marked “Share your Christmas lunch” by regular post to: ACN Malta, 39b, Mdina Road, Attard, ATD9038 Malta. Donations via bank transfer to APS Bank Account Number 20001771733 are welcomed.  An email with “Share your Christmas lunch” in the title to informing ACN (Malta) when the donation transfer payment was made, will be appreciated.