Baroness Cox: A Christmas message for 2020

This is a 2020 Christmas message written by Baroness Cox to the HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust) family. HART is the humanitarian aid charity that Caroline founded and is the CEO. 

Caroline also would like to thank all her readers here and the growing number of followers on social media and all their support during what has been a very challenging year for everyone.

Here is the Christmas message in full from Baroness Caroline Cox. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a special thank you to those of you who help me with suggestions and corrections for Caroline's website here. (Andrew Haigh)

Start: Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who brought light into a dark world. When he was born, angels lit the sky and sang praises. A bright star shone in the sky and led the wisemen to bring their gifts to the baby Jesus. These and other wonderful events occurred in a time of great darkness when Herod was ruling with the typical harshness of the Roman empire. Jesus‘s birth did not take place in a comfortable home but in a crude stable and Mary had to undergo birth in very dark circumstances.

Therefore, the message of Christmas is to celebrate light in darkness.

This year has seen unprecedented darkness in many ways. The ongoing tragedies of persecution, terrorism and genocide have been massively exacerbated by the many forms of suffering inflicted by coronavirus.

However, our inspirational HART partners have maintained light in the darkness of their challenging situations and, often, tragedies of war and persecution.

I give just three examples. First, in January, when we visited Abyei, the disputed territory between Sudan and South Sudan, we had the harrowing experience of witnessing the immediate aftermath of a massacre of Dinka Christian people by Arab jihadists. This was the ultimate darkness of killings, injuries, enslavement of some of the children and the loss of homes and livelihoods.

However, since that terrible day, there has been light and hope brought by Bishop Michael and his community with the support of HART. For example, we were able to provide new clothes for orphaned children which brought smiles to their faces and we were able to help to provide funding for urgently needed building of education facilities, especially appreciated as education is their priority.

Secondly, and very recently, HART was able to visit the anguish of the Armenian people of Nagorno Karabakh, historically known as Artsakh, who are suffering attempted genocide by Azerbaijan and Turkey. Azerbaijan has perpetrated war crimes and inflicted horrendous suffering on the Armenian people, such as torture, killings, including beheadings of prisoners. But, in the midst of this darkness of suffering, our hero of the peace, Vardan and his staff have returned to Artsakh’s capital, Stepanakert, to continue their ministry of health, hope and healing for people with disabilities.

Thirdly, in Blue Nile State in Sudan, HART has been able to take food to our Muslim friends there who were suffering from famine as well as to help with supplies for education. We could not have done this without the magnificent commitment and hard work of our inspirational HART partner, Benjamin Barnaba.

I could give similarly humbling stories of the achievements of all our partners and their communities. Therefore, at this Christmas time, which is a time of celebration, even in the darkness of many kinds of suffering, we in HART wish to celebrate the compassion, dedication and commitment of each and every one of our partners in Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria and different parts of Burma.

Whatever their faith tradition, they exemplify the message of Christmas of bringing light and hope into places of darkness and suffering

We also wish to celebrate the contributions of all who make the work of HART possible. Without your support, we would not be able to help our valiant partners to bring light and comfort to their people in intensely challenging situations.

We are also grateful that we can hope that all the achievements of our partners and their communities will continue to grow in the coming year. There are so many exciting initiatives waiting to develop. For example, the Charm Project, designed to enable Vardan from Artsakh to work with Dr Sasa in Burma to introduce the concepts, philosophy, clinical practice and personal development for people with disabilities into a country where currently there is no such provision. Vardan came on one visit to our SWAN partners from Shan State who were thrilled to learn some basic principles and practices to care for people with disabilities whom they had previously not had the knowledge to be able to help.

In South Sudan, Archbishop Moses is very excited to continue to develop the work of Saint John‘s College providing education for teachers and theological students, also supported by Glocal Care. This is another exciting development – networking with other charities to complement our respective initiatives.

In Uganda, we have been able to celebrate a very happy conclusion to HART’s support for Parohiner which has developed into a Centre providing invaluable help for children with HIV. As we leave, we are very excited to promote another network, welcoming the priceless contribution of Power for the People providing solar power to develop transformational changes. Watch this space!

Reference to solar power brings us back to the theme of light with which we began our Christmas message.

It has indeed been a very dark year for so many people in this country and abroad. However, we are profoundly grateful to our valiant partners in the different countries suffering so many challenges and tragedies who have brought light into their darkness.

As we celebrate this Christmas, we celebrate their achievements and their demonstration of the truth which is at the heart of the Christian faith:

‘The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it’.

And we hope that everyone in the HART family will be able to take comfort -and even to rejoice in - the light which they have helped through our partners to bring into the darkness in so many places. It is because of this that we can sincerely and appropriately wish you all a happy Christmas with profound gratitude for the happiness and light you have helped to bring to so many people in some of the very dark parts of our world today. (Baroness Caroline Cox)

HART US website
I wanted to mention finally here about another very important partner for HART and that is HART US which is run by a few very kind volunteers to help spread the message and work of Baroness Cox in USA. We have many thousands of visitors to www.baronesscox.com from the US and supporters which are growing thanks to the work of HART US. 
HART US is registered in the United States of America as 501(c)(3) and is a restricted fund of Leaders in Transformation Inc, EIN 46-4945102. If you live in the US you can also donate HART by clicking here.  (Andrew Haigh)

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