It grieves me that so little news media in the Western Hemisphere focus on it. The United Nations is now calling it the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. It’s famine in East Africa, including in countries where Food for the Hungry works.
As livestock die from lack of food and water, livelihoods perish with them.
A perfect storm of factors puts 20 million precious lives at stake.
- Drought/Famine – El Niño brought consecutive years of drought to countries along the eastern coast of Africa. That has scorched crops, dried up water sources and decimated livestock. Finding food and water is difficult. With livestock dying, livelihoods perish.
- Political Upheaval – Violence is getting worse in the area. Drought and contentious elections exacerbate the food shortage problem with conflict and war. People flee in record numbers to neighboring countries also impacted by the drought. Many die on the trip. Others die as they wait for medical assistance in host countries. Others just give up hope and fade away.
Nine out of 10 of the famine refugees are women and children.
I’ve seen this before. In the 1980s, I worked as a pastor in Switzerland. I was asked to counsel a group of doctors and nurses who had returned from providing medical care to victims of a famine in Ethiopia. They were traumatized.
One of the doctors looked at me with glistening eyes. “If I treated the person on my left, by the time I stabilized that person, the person on my right might have already died.”
These doctors and nurses all said they realized they had to decide who would live and who would die. And that overwhelmed them. They anguished over the life and death decisions forced on them every day during their two weeks in Ethiopia.
As a pastor during the world’s last horrific famine, I walked beside those doctors and nurses to help them see that no one can do everything. But we can all do something. They came to understand they had used as much wisdom and understanding as God gave them at the time. They had pled to God to be merciful as they worked to save as many people as possible.
And now, I ask for your help.
There are long lines where people wait for their turn to get much-needed water.
As I harken back to my meetings with those doctors and nurses, I feel my own level of anguish rising.
Today, I am leading Food for the Hungry to answer God’s call to help the desperate people ensconced in East Africa famine of 2017. As I do, I cry out to God as those doctors and nurses did after their time in Ethiopia. I also cry out to the world.
Won’t you help us:
- Speak about this cruel famine
- Mobilize your family, friends, church and neighbors
- Bring resources to desperate people?
I am in contact with leaders of many organizations. We are working together to bring relief to the people of East Africa. Food for the Hungry seeks grants and financial support. We know we can’t do everything, but we believe these people are worthy of everything we can do. They have value and dignity in God’s eyes.
Food for the Hungry is dealing with this famine in a holistic way. People are traumatized, and we work to help them past their PTSD. They are hungry and thirsty, and we work to give them physical relief. They are looking for hope, and we work to find it in God’s love. We also work to give them hope by providing needed farming supplies and seeds.
While the Western news media might not pay enough attention to the desperate famine-stricken people of East Africa, God doesn’t shut his eyes. I believe God is calling. He is calling me. And he is calling you.
We need to work together to help those people who could die without our intervention!
Won’t you join us with a generous donation to provide emergency food aid, medical supplies and water? With your help, we’ll save as many of these precious lives as possible.