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Fistula

Thank you for going Christmas shopping for the most vulnerable people in the entire world. This Christmas you can make Double the Difference. A group of major cbm donors have made an extraordinary commitment to you.

They are so concerned about women affected by fistula, they will match your Gifts of Life order, dollar for dollar. It’s true. Give a $10 chicken or a $50 goat – and your gift will be DOUBLED for families affected by poverty and disability.

Gifts Of Life

Give Life-changing Fistula Surgery – and two women like Fina will be set free from decades of grief and rejection. Who else but cbm would put fistula in a Christmas catalogue? How fitting, though, when you think that the mother of Jesus went into labour with no adequate birthcare to support her.

My wife and I are expecting our first child, so this Christmas I’m feeling even more deeply how difficult it must have been for Mary 2000 years ago – and for vulnerable women today, like Fina in Tanzania. “I endured labour pains for three days.” Fina was weak and exhausted. Her pain was intense. Desperate for help, Fina and her husband tried to reach the nearest hospital, far away, but bus drivers refused to allow her on their busses.

After many hours, a bus driver finally let Fina aboard, but it was too late. Her baby died unborn.

Such grief. There is still so much pain in Fina’s voice as she simply says, “I cried a lot. It was a terrible day.”

Exhausted and grief-stricken, Fina found herself helplessly soaking in urine, because of a birth injury called obstetric fistula. Fina’s traumatic labour had pierced the wall between her birth canal and bladder – the hole is called a fistula. Urine was flowing from her body. It did not stop for sixteen years. This heartbroken woman has been rejected by everyone who should have cared for her.

Doctors sent her away, saying they couldn’t do anything about her constant leaking. Her mother-in-law banished her because of the unbearable smell. Fina’s husband abandoned her, embarrassed that his wife was uncontrollably leaking urine. Fina tried her father, but her stepmother threw her out. “I cried bitterly. Where will I go? How am I going to survive?

Did Mary ask such questions when there was no safe place, no midwife, no birth assistance in Bethlehem? For many lonely years, Fina supported herself through subsistence farming, until one day a neighbour asked why Fina washed her clothes every day. Fina explained– and it turned out the neighbour’s daughter had fistula too. That is how common it is in the poorest places.

The neighbour’s daughter, though, had received the blessing of a Gift of Life from a cbm supporter. After so many years of misery, that moment finally came for Fina. Someone like you gave Fina her Gift of Life! Her fistula has been healed. Her health and dignity have been restored! She is absolutely delighted. “Asante, cbm supporters!”

“I am so happy! I am recovering after suffering for all these years.” Every gift from your Christmas catalogue has this power to change lives and bring great joy. So please make Gifts of Life a big part of your Christmas shopping this year. Friends and family love Gifts of Life like Fina’s fistula surgery, for the pure joy of the Christmas spirit. Double that this year, because your generosity is being matched dollar-for-dollar.

Thank you for opening your heart this Christmas to the world’s most vulnerable people. I hope you greatly enjoy Christmas shopping to change lives. Misery and suffering like Fina’s will end this Christmas, because of the gifts you choose on your order form.