Advent Challenge

Take the Advent Challenge!

During Advent, we rejoice over the amazing gift God gave us—Jesus! This gift changed the world, and so can we.

This Advent season, as an expression of Christ’s hope, peace, joy and love, we invite you to take the Advent Challenge and join with us in working towards a sustainable, compassionate and just world.

Challenge your congregation to do Advent differently.

For each week of Advent, read the story on the back of the PWS&D Advent liturgy, complete the weekly challenge and share the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love that enable abundant life—at home and around the world.

Image of arrow pointing downAdvent Challenge Instructions 2021

Image of arrow pointing downAdvent Challenge Instructions Text Version 2021

Read Hawa and Fatuma’s story, “Hope for Mothers in Somalia” found on the back of PWS&D’s first Advent liturgy. 

In Somalia, Hawa weighed less than 14 pounds at just under two years of age, despite her mother, Fatuma, working three jobs to support the family. A prolonged lack of nutritious food meant Hawa had lesions on her skin and was anemic—she needed a blood transfusion immediately. Thankfully, with the support of a PWS&D clinic, Hawa received the necessary treatments and made a full recovery. 

Take the Advent HOPE Challenge:

Like Hawa’s mom Fatuma, many parents find it challenging to balance caring for their children and tireless efforts to work to afford necessities for their family. If you are able, perform an act of kindness for a parent in your community—by offering to babysit, make them a meal, or walk their pets. 

Give the Gift of Hope!

Help ensure children have access to nutritious food to lead healthy lives from childhood to adulthood. 

$70 provides a year of therapeutic food for one malnourished child.

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Read “Food Baskets Provide Assurance” found on the back of PWS&D’s second Advent liturgy. 

It’s been over 10 years since millions of Syrians were forced from their homes due to ongoing civil conflict. Almost six million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries and another 6.7 million are displaced internally in Syria. As a result, every day is filled with uncertainty. PWS&D is responding to help alleviate some of these uncertainties by providing 6,000 families with food baskets. These food baskets will mean families can ensure that their households have access to healthy and nutritious food. 

Take the Advent PEACE Challenge:

Conflict, compounded by COVID-19, has put more people at risk of going hungry around the world. In Canada, many community food banks have seen an increase in people using their services but a decrease in donations. Together with your family, gather some non-perishable food items to drop off at your local food bank to help provide peace of mind to families.

Give the Gift of Peace!

Help those who are displaced by conflict access lifesaving resources.

$100 provides emergency food rations to a family for one month.

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Read “Maternal Health Today and Tomorrow” found of the back of PWS&D’s third Advent liturgy.

In Malawi, the rates of infant and child mortality are incredibly high. Yet, for many pregnant women, access to health services like prenatal check-ups, delivery support and immunizations for their newborns and themselves are not within reach. Through ongoing work, PWS&D is ensuring women have the knowledge and information they need about maternal and child health practices and empowering women to make informed decisions about their health and that of their children.

Take the Advent JOY Challenge:

Imagine you need to visit a hospital for a check-up or immunization, but the only way to access the hospital is to walk to it. With a friend or family member, walk (or map) the distance to your nearest hospital to understand the importance of providing mothers with accessible health services.

Give the Gift of Joy!

Help build strong maternal and child health care services for families and communities so that moms and babies have the best chance for a healthy future. 

$32 trains a healthcare worker in maternal and child health. 

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Read Robina’s story “An Education for Robina” found on the back of PWS&D’s fourth Advent liturgy.

Robina lives with her mother, father and five siblings in a make-shift house in Afghanistan. This past year, Robina was the only member of her family in school—but it wasn’t just because of COVID-19. Girls are affected unequally because of a cultural belief that there is little value for education for girls. And the current political situation in Afghanistan means many more children are faced with uncertainty about their futures, particularly girls. PWS&D is working with a local partner in Afghanistan to help parents and religious leaders understand girls’ rights—most importantly, the right to education.

Take the Advent LOVE Challenge:

With your family or church, look at the Gifts of Change catalogue and under “A Classroom for Every Child,” choose a project to fundraise for during Advent. You can choose from raising funds to purchase textbooks and school supplies to providing a teacher with training to ensure quality education!

Give the Gift of Love!

Provide opportunities for children to access quality education and a chance to build a brighter future.

$375 helps send a student to school for one year. 

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Use the Christmas liturgy and read the reflection “Christ is Born!”

In the midst of poverty, hunger and disaster, the light of the Christ candle shines.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, we remember God’s promise of abundant life and give the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love to serve vulnerable communities across the globe.

Challenge your congregation to hold a special offering to support the work of PWS&D. Your contribution will make a difference in the lives of people living in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.

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Show us how you’re doing Advent differently!

Follow PWS&D on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tag us in your Advent Challenge posts and photos. Use the hashtag #AdventChallenge21.

You can also send your stories and photos to Stephanie Chunoo at schunoo [at] presbyterian [dot] ca and we will share them online.