Thursday, September 1, 2011

12 Million Souls

Dizzying, nauseating heat. Grit-choked, cotton-tongued thirst. Mile after dusty, barefoot mile over blazing sand. Hollow-eyed children and listliss babies hang from the backs of their shriveled mothers, too tired to cry or complain of empty bellies and burning throats. Driven by the hope of sustenance, thousands of refugees follow the shallow graves that mark the way to the Dadaab Refugee Camp and life.

Half a world away laughing university students pile into tiny cars and pump the base up. Zipping across campus, they yell and honk the horn, their veins throbbing with the raw exuberance of life. Whistles and cat-calls echo in the evening air, tense with the pent-up energy of class-packed days. Caf├ęs and coffee shops burst at the seams with the priveleged products of middle-class parents. Chatting with friends, they casually sip their lattes, oblivious to the 12 million starving souls on the other side of the hemisphere.

Christian theologian C.S. Lewis said on the subject of charity, "I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. The only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. [I]f our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, [and] amusements is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us...they are too small...For many of us the great obstacle to charity our fear--fear of insecurity. This recognised as a temptation...I may repeat 'Do as you would be done by' till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him" (Mere Christianity 86-87).

In James 1:27, we are told that pure and faultless religion acceptable to God is "to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

WorldHelp is an evangelical Christian organization that has expedited over 5 million meals, clean water and $12.5 million dollars in medical supplies to distressed orphans and widows on the Horn of Africa, in addition to distributing the word of God. Over the past 3 months, 30,000 African children have died from starvation. By Christmas 30,000 more will starve if we sit by and do nothing. Please prayerfully consider following this link to their website and donating. The bible commands us to give cheerfully and sacrificially. Let us not only be hearers of the Word, but doers.


Amy said...

That sounds like such a good cause! I think you're right; the starvation in Africa is so far away from our daily existence that most people probably don't even think about it. Very sad.

Catherine said...

Sad as it is, the saying "out of sight, out of mind" is too true among Christians. It's more comfortable to remain ignorant because awareness means responsibility.