Religious and community leaders, as well as all Christians, are being encouraged to take part in a week of “forgiveness activities” to mark i4give Week, from 1-7 February 2022.
The week begins with i4give Day on 1 February – an initiative created in 2021 by parents Daniel and Leila Abdallah, whose three children and niece were killed by a drunk driver in Oatlands, Sydney, on 1 February 2020.
This year, as well as a national day when people are encouraged to “find someone you can forgive or ask for forgiveness”, faith groups and other community groups are urged to host local forgiveness related activities throughout the week. In doing so, the aim is to “engage communities with the forgiveness message”.
Religious and community leaders are also invited to an i4give you Zoom meeting with Leila and Danny Abdallah on Wednesday, February 2 at 5pm, which the couple hopes will “stimulate conversations about forgiveness”.
Significantly, the week concludes with ‘i4give Sunday’ on 6 February 2022, when Christian churches across Australia are invited to “unite in a shared embrace of the Christ-centred approach to forgiveness.”
On this Sunday, and throughout the week, Christians are encouraged to “engage in conversation around forgiveness and its power to heal and restore broken relationships. The message of deep forgiveness based in a forgiving God starts within and among churches and going out from there into the community.
“As partners, Christian churches and communities are encouraged to pray for reconciliation found in forgiveness through Jesus Christ during i4give Week in Australia.”
The Abdallahs – Maronite Catholics and members of Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral at Harris Park – are renowned for the speed with which they forgave the driver who killed their children – Antony (13), Angelina (12) and Sienna (8) – and niece Veronique Sakr (11).
“Our four children are now our four saints and this day is for them. Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. The more you practice, the better you become at it and it allows you to live peacefully and to heal. Forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the forgiven,” said Leila when launching i4give Day in December 2020.
“We thought that it’s really nice to honour God and our kids by turning the day of their incident – of when the accident happened – to a forgiveness day,” she later continued.
“Instead of being remembered as the day of the tragedy, it can be remembered as the ‘I forgive’ day.“I strongly encourage everyone on i4give Day to stop, reflect and search their hearts.”
To register your church or community group’s i4give Week activities, visit the official site here.