Christ Is Leading His People To Help Feed Millions Effected By The Famine In The Horn Of Africa

By: Amanda Mattingly 0 Comments   11/11/2011

A family of four sits down to dinner, passing the breadsticks around the table to side with their plates full of pasta. They eat and laugh, reminiscing about the day while they enjoy and savor their meal.

Once their stomachs are full, they rise from the table to clear their dishes, throwing out the uneaten scrapings and packing away the remaining food, which will then sit in the fridge for about a week before eventually being thrown away.

Another family of four trudge down the dusty, dirty roads in order to reach the border of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. They carry their starving children while dragging their own tired feet, all in attempts to have the chance to receive a small meal for their children.

This family has already gone days without eating, and it has not been a “normal” experience to be able to offer food on a regular basis to their beloved children-- let alone one single meal. Tears stream down the parent’s faces as they know that if their two small children do not receive food soon, they will surely perish from starvation and malnutrition right before their very eyes.

These are two vastly different, yet very real, experiences. It is easy for those of us not facing these harsh circumstances of starvation to forget that in other parts of the world, people and families are dying every day from simply not having enough food to eat.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing the biggest drought it has seen in more than 50 years. “Today, over 11 million people are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa. In Kenya, an estimated 3.6 million people have been affected,” according to Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs as reported by the U.S. Department of State.

Already, more than 30,000 children have perished in Somalia alone, due to malnutrition and simply the lack of access to necessary supplies for survival. This number continues to rise drastically each day, leaving the residents of these East African countries forced to live on almost nothing; they are simply left to hope that someone will intervene on their behalf.

Refugee camps have been established along the Somalia-Kenyan border, including Dadaab--the largest refugee camp in the world. There, numerous containers of aid have been sent full of medicine, clothing and nutritious food. Although this helps a great deal in efforts to save the suffering people in the Horn of Africa, there are still roadblocks keeping the aid from getting in.

The streets leading to reach these refugee camps can be dangerous for both the African people and the aid workers who cross the borders. The Islamic militant group, the Shabab, keeps people from entering the camps. They raid the containers of aid that come through the area, taking anything they want for themselves and killing anyone who dares to get in their way.

Not only do they keep aid from coming in, but they also halt anyone who tries to leave. This causes resistance for aid works who are working to help the mass of starving and dying people. Even just this month. Americans were kidnapped in Somalia in their efforts to bring assistance to the refugee camps, according to CNN.

Not only are American aid workers, or those from other nationalities, in danger in their attempts to reach the camps, even the nationals face trials. Some die on their way to the camps due to lack of food and water, while the women face dangerous circumstances as many are often raped by the militant groups and rogue police officers who are guarding the borders.

Though there are roadblocks in the effort to help the people in the Horn of Africa, this is no reason not to reach out our hands with assistance. The United States is making an effort to send aid, which has come to more than $600 million in supplies, according to the Associated Press. There is also an outstanding effort coming from Christian communities throughout the country, answering God’s command to help the poor and the suffering.

God’s heart breaks for his people in Africa, and Christians have the responsibility to hold this same compassion; however, compassion should never be just a feeling we have. It should always be God’s spirit of compassion leading us into action.

One organization called World Help, based out of Lynchburg, Va., is making an immense effort to help the Horn of Africa. They have already raised the money to send 20 containers of food and medicine to the refugee camps. These containers cost $6,000 to ship, and they have partnered with donors all over the country who are giving money to support the cause.

Other organizations that are reaching out to make a difference include World Vision, Help for Humanity and numerous churches and organizations throughout the country. They are striving to make a difference and save the lives of these people who are perishing day-by-day.

The power of the gospel is behind these Christian organizations.  Without the freedoms we have in America, these Christian organizations would be shut down and millions more would die. And if religious freedom was protected in other nations around the world, more Christian organizations from other nations would be able to help.

Where are the Atheists? Where are the Hollywood celebrities?  Where are the other religions? The fact that the majority of the help is coming from Christian organizations is evidence that Christ is truly alive and well in the hearts of his followers and is the one and only true God.  

The greater the persecution of Christianity in America by the media, culture and politicians, the more these organizations will be limited in helping future needs.  This is why defending religions freedom in America is not just for our enjoyment, but millions of lives depend on it. 

God is bigger than the injustice and the suffering these people are experiencing, and as Christians, we should be burdened to give what we have to help them. Whether it be financially or through prayer, there is something to offer the people in the Horn of Africa.

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

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