Extracts from CHRISTIAN AID’s Lent Devotional based on the lives of a community on small, remote islands in the Philippines.

WEEKEND 16-17 MARCH:  The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.  God has called us to look after the earth, but there are times that we haven’t taken this calling seriously.

MONDAY 18TH MARCH:  One of the beautiful things about God is that He will always forgive, no matter what we have done.  Forgiveness allows us to start over again.  Humans have repeatedly got it wrong when it comes to the environment.  So let us start over.  Let’s bring the environment back to the way it should be.  One step at a time.

TUESDAY 19TH MARCH:  …’it’s good to have “the thief to catch a thief” (former illegal fisherfolk turned protectors).  When it comes to climate change, developed countries have created most of the carbon pollution; it’s up to us to repent and change our ways.

WEDNESDAY 20TH MARCH:  Emmanuel, Director of Christian Aid’s partner ICODE, tells us that the pollution and plastic waste appears in the Philippines from the sea between June and September and it has to be cleared every year.

THURSDAY 21ST MARCH:  Today is the International Day of Forests.  Forests are the lungs of the earth!  Many mangrove forests have been cut down and sold for profit.  ICODE trains the community in replanting mangroves to protect against storm surges and preserve marine life.

FRIDAY 22ND MARCH:  Today is World Water Day.  The Community is calling for the local coal plant to be closed as it’s emitting harmful gases.  The biggest concern is the foul-smelling liquid residue in the ocean.  The coal plant pollutes the air, water and marine life.  Islanders speak of their children getting skin conditions; everyone worries about their health.

WEEKEND 23-24TH MARCH:  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as Christ forgave you.   Consider how the money in your bank account and the things you have bought have impacted vulnerable people like the Philippines.