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Advent calendar 2023 - 3 December

A house in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Be on guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.

Mark 13:33

Today we begin a new Church year and turn to Mark’s gospel. 

Mark is writing for the early Christian community in Rome, at a time when Roman imperial forces have destroyed the Jewish temple. Jesus’s followers are facing violent persecution and it is surely hard for them to hold onto hope.  

Amid this suffering, Jesus assures them that the “master of the house” will return. The Son of Man will come in power and glory to set all wrongs right. His warns them – and us – not to be found complacent and sleeping when this time comes, but to “stay awake”.  

The people of Afghanistan have endured decades of conflict, political turmoil and poverty. Further devastation has been caused by recent earthquakes. The situation, especially for women and girls, has become even more critical since the Taliban takeover in 2021. Two thirds of the population require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 15 million children. 

Yet somehow, people still hold on to hope. A trusted local expert who works with women and girls in Afghanistan tells us: “It has been a difficult and painful year for us all as Afghans. But it has not stopped us from surviving every day and fighting for the spark of light in the darkest days.” 

As we enter this season of Advent, may we stay awake, not losing hope in the face of seemingly impossible challenges, but taking action together. By treasuring each other and our common home, may we stand ready at the door for the hour of our Master’s return. 

Advent prayer

Eternal God,  
you will come when we do not expect you.  
Help us to welcome you now in one another,  
to reach out to our sisters and brothers  
in loving care and support.  
In this way may we be found ready, 
when you come again in glory.  


Don’t wait this Advent to get vital resources to the people of Afghanistan as they work to get their families through the harsh conditions of winter. 
Donate now

Advent Appeal 2023

Don't wait this Advent, to help families in Afghanistan get the vital supplies they need to survive the winter.