A missed meal.
Sometimes just a delayed meal. That is how many of us experience
"hunger." But for millions across the globe, hunger has a very
different reality. The definition of world hunger encompasses malnutrition and
under-nutrition. There are approximately 7.6 billion people in the world today.
One out of every nine individuals is undernourished, which adds up to over 800
million people. Beyond the suffering of empty stomachs, malnutrition and
under-nutrition lead to increased susceptibility to disease, difficulty fighting
off illness, stunting of growth, and cognitive delay.
risk of quoting statistics such as these is two-fold. First is that we will
forget that the numbers represent actual human lives. Second is that we will be
overwhelmed with the daunting enormity of the need and give up before we begin.
Instead, we must
ask ourselves: What should I do, and what can I do? The question of responsibility is easily answered. "But whoso hath this world's good, and
seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him,
how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (1 John 3: 17). We are all part of a
family – the family of humanity and an Apostolic church family.
The question of
opportunity and ability requires we look for a place to start where real needs
can be met. With the Feeding Our Family campaign, Compassion Services
International is currently focusing on two areas: Uganda and the Western Sahel
region of Africa. Our humanitarian representatives in both of these countries
have reached out to make CSi and its donors aware of the tenuous situations in
their respective locations. They are looking at real hunger in the faces of
their friends, neighbors, and church constituents – our family.
Northern Uganda is currently in the
third year of a drought and famine. Per UPCI Missionary Phil Tolstad, the food
shortage is complicated by the presence of approximately one million South
Sudanese refugees in that part of Uganda – one humanitarian crisis compounding
another humanitarian crisis. The United Nations has been unable to deliver
supplies to refugees directly, so instead they provide money for the purchase
of food. This in turn drives the cost of food supplies higher.
CSi has already
sent funding, but more is needed. With this support, food was purchased in another region of Uganda and transport it to the
North. However, two pastors' wives in Uganda have recently passed away from
secondary causes related to their lack of nutrition. All of these church
members in Uganda are our family.
There are many
parallels between the situation in Uganda and the Western Sahel region of
Africa---civil unrest, religious opposition, unfortunate weather, large numbers
of refugees. In such places, when the crop yield is low (as it has been for
several consecutive years), there is little to no reserve or buffer. According
to local news sources, after an irregular rainy season, almost one million
people in the Western Sahel alone are facing food shortages. Acute malnutrition
affects at least one person in ten. At the same time, terrorism has also
increased, adding safety insecurity to the food insecurity.
supporting funding in the Western Sahel region for food supplies, specifically
grain, during this difficult time. Our humanitarian representative there has a
system of distribution to reach the largest needs within a village. With
careful planning, approximately $25 can feed a family for an entire month.
However, this amount of grain provides only sustenance. They are surviving, but
our work is not done. These villagers are our family.
“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to
hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That is the essence of
inhumanity" (George Bernard Shaw). Compassion Services International's
Feeding Our Family Campaign is an opportunity to answer that question
"What can I do?" Uganda, the Western Sahel region and other
famine-affected areas of the world are in need. Donate today in the Feeding our Family Initiative