HUNGER: What happens when you are still in your pj’s sipping your hot cup of joe, feeding your kids a nutritious breakfast and you come across an article that stops you in your morning tracks? The article is about the nearly 12 million people suffering from the worst famine in a generation and on brink of starvation in East Africa.
What do you do?
Do you quickly turn the page and ignore the reality?
Do you stare at the paper in disbelief, while shrinking with intimidation at the magnitude of the crisis?
Do you determine to find a way to act?
I have had a mixture of all of these responses for the past few weeks. I cannot seem to get the reality of the crisis in the Horn of Africa out of my mind. I see the images in our newspapers of the starving families traveling up to 100+ miles for food throughout Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya and I just want to collapse on the inside.
HORN OF AFRICA: I cannot stop thinking about these people, so I have continued to read and educate myself about this dilemma. I learned that after walking tens, if not up to 100 miles, to refugee camps for aid, most of those traveling have lost multiple family members along the way who were too weak to complete the journey. I also learned that when they arrive at the refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia there is often a major shortage of food and shelter to accommodate the thousands who are coming for help everyday. As if things were not already overwhelming, I discovered that some of those areas most affected by the drought and famine (specifically southern Somalia) are controlled by terrorist groups which increases the difficulty in getting them the needed foreign aid.
There are 11+million people affected by this crisis. REAL people.
"Poverty is not an image, or a statistic; poverty has a face, a name and a story." - Richard Stearns, President of World Vision
HEARTBROKEN: I truly believe, however difficult it is for me to understand, that God’s heart breaks more for the world than mine ever will. I also believe that in God’s heart are the answers for the disasters, tragedies and horrors of this world. I believe that we were made to know God’s heart. Not just for ourselves, but for the world in need. As we know Him, we are to act for the good of the world with His power, wisdom and grace as our source of strength.
HOPE: I deeply desire to know His heart and for the world to experience the fullness of redemption, hope and healing that will come when He comes again to make all things right. I can hardly wait for all of humanity to be restored to the dignity that was intended from the beginning when God brings His full healing. For now, as we have that Hope that is working from our hearts out into our world, we are His empowered agents of dignity and redemption…now…even now in East Africa.
Let’s bring it home. As moms trying to stay on top of laundry, grocery lists, and our children’s manners, all the while trying to maintain a clean and happy home for our families, what can we do to contribute to this massive crisis? How can we engage such a devastating problem when it seems so foreign and huge?
HOME ACTION: Join me for my next post to find out more information on the crisis and the simple yet meaningful things my family is doing as a response to the East African famine. I pray you’ll be inspired to do something too!
For now, my challenge to you is to read up on the issue. Let me know your thoughts and how your heart responds to this devastation. I would really like to hear what you have to say, so please comment and let’s continue the conversation. A great article to give you some perspective is below: