The fighting is starting again in northern Ethiopia. As a result, an already massive humanitarian crisis of displacement, hunger, and poverty is about to become even worse. But God cares for the afflicted children and families, who’ve been left with nothing and now struggle to survive. And the dedicated staff and generous supporters of Food for the Hungry (FH) care as well.
Following God’s call to respond to human suffering, FH has been serving more than 2 million of those devastated by the conflict in Ethiopia with emergency food distributions since early August. With renewed violence, this number will increase in the the weeks and months ahead.
But even as more people are fleeing their homes for safety and many find themselves without food or livelihoods, hope remains. God has not forgotten the afflicted.
As Psalm 10:17–18 promises:
“O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed…..”
Consider how God has heard the cries of Emamiye, a displaced single mother of two, and responded with compassion through His followers at FH.
No Food, No Hope
Tensions erupted into violence and war in Ethiopia’s Amhara region back in 2021, an already difficult place to live with degrading natural resources including a lack of water. Any of these circumstances would present overwhelming obstacles for Emamiye and other impoverished families. Together, the obstacles proved untenable. They could see no path to survival if they stayed.
So, along with millions of other families in the region, they fled their home. Emamiye and her daughters, 13-year-old Metadel and 4-year-old Redet, left the only home they’d ever known and all their worldly possessions behind to search for food and safety elsewhere. But Emamiye’s struggle to keep her girls alive continued, with no land to farm or job to work and feed them. When she was lucky, they were able to eat a single meal that day.
A Heavy Burden
“It was so difficult to care for and feed my children and myself without additional food support,” Emamiye remembers. She also knew that Metadel soon would not be able to go to school. She’d have to help out by dropping out to knock on doors in search of work she could do in exchange for food to help them survive.
“I was frustrated and feared that we might soon face critical hunger that could lead to death,” she says.
But thankfully, God still cares for the afflicted. And He moved to help in tangible, practical ways – through the work of FH.
God Cares for the Afflicted
One of the most beautiful ways God meets needs is through the compassion of those who love Him, like the generous supporters of FH.
Those who pray and give share the FH heartbeat to go into the hard places and walk with the world’s most vulnerable people – Emamiye, her daughters, and countless others who have been displaced by war and drought in Ethiopia.
As a result of emergency distributions, Emamiye and her daughters began receiving nutritious food as soon as FH entered their community. They also received training in proper nutrition and creating a well-balanced diet.
But that’s not the only training available through FH. Emamiye’s family and others at the camp received training in proper hygiene and sanitation and learned skills essential to maintaining good health in a crowded displaced persons camp. Additionally, training in positive gender norms and equality played a critical role in improving their protection from violence as vulnerable women and girls within the camp.
“Now our attitude, lifestyle, and work ethic have changed,” Emamiye reports. “After FH Ethiopia arrived, our lives improved in every way.”
Displaced, but not Forgotten
Although Emamiye and her daughters still have a long journey ahead to break free from poverty, today they’re full of hope. God has not forgotten them – and neither has FH.
“Now our life is better than before,” Emamiye says. “My child can attend school, and we each eat three times a day!”
The walk out of poverty may be long, but she isn’t providing for her children alone, and this fills her with hope for the future. Today, she dreams of educating her children and preparing them to have a better life.