i can’t stay quiet.

do you know about the famine in east africa? do you know that mothers are watching their sweet, precious children die in front of them? do you know that breastfeeding moms are quickly losing the milk that is sustaining their newborns due to extreme malnutrition? do you know that people are walking 6+ days to find food and drinkable water? do you know that families are being torn apart due to extreme poverty, conflict, gender biases?  perhaps you know this, but do you really KNOW it?

when i first became interested in Christianity i started learning a lot. i would go over passages and stories and would happily say: i get it! but lo and behold, i didn’t even close to “get it” until Jesus came into my life. like a train with no breaks, things became real. i got it. not in my head, but in my heart. with this situation in east africa, i think a lot of people get it. it’s sad, it’s unfortunate, it’s devastating. but until it becomes real, i don’t think a lot of us are actually getting it. it’s a news story, a very unfortunate one, but we don’t cry, we don’t often feel it. that is how i honestly have felt with many tragic stories, it didn’t touch my soul because i wasn’t letting the reality of it in.

when keaton cries out in hunger and i can’t feed him for a couple minutes, or when it is so hot outside that he is uncomfortable and crying … it hurts my heart a bit. i don’t want my baby to feel that way, i want to provide a safe shelter for him in every way possible. trying to imagine keaton crying out in hunger for days and being helpless to satisfy him, imagining watching him take his last breath as i scour the area for any drop of water or food … it pains my soul and breaks my heart. this is just the imagination of that. not the reality. there is no difference between myself and a mother making the harrowing journey across africa to find a refugee camp with food and water. we both love our children, we both want to satisfy our children’s immediate needs. the only difference is that i can do that, and she can’t. i live in a country in which fresh water is readily available, and even in a dry season, we can make the water come to us. i live in a country in which if a bunch of cattle dies, it won’t completely wipe out an entire community. it may make for a rough time financially, but it does not spur an all out famine in which tens of thousands of children are dying in (not to even add the number of adults). this is devastating in it’s truest form.

we need to do something. we need to spark change. we need to make it real.

searching on cnn and msnbc websites yesterday there was no mention of the famine on the front pages, you had to click a few times to find anything on it. that’s devastating. how can we continue to keep our brothers and sisters in africa on our hearts and minds if we can’t see them? if we aren’t talking about them? if we don’t realize this famine isn’t just bad luck with a dry season, but exasperated by conflict, poverty, gender bias and violence, and a general helpless feeling that has been instilled? we need to go deeper. we need to get to the systemic issues. we need to. we have to.

{check out CARE.ORG. follow them on facebook and twitter. they do amazing work. they are amazing people. and they have helped me realize the reality of the situation. click around, give, read … whatever your heart desires}

i know there are issues across the world that similar posts could be written about. there is genocide, poverty, war conflicts, maternal health, the list goes on and on of very important and worthy issues that are not getting coverage, that aren’t becoming real to us. but this african crisis is on its way to becoming the worst famine in history for these people. the “children’s famine” is what they are calling it. devastating.

i won’t ask you to give or to go or to do anything else but think about this. i would encourage you to do any or all of those things, but i won’t ask you.

but i think God is asking me. us. trevor and i both had quiet times this week in which we were asking God to shine His light on these people and let them know that while food and water are scarce, His provision for their souls is endless.

God clearly stated to both of us: you do it. you keep asking me, well i have told you already. go. be radical. serve. shine.

whew.

don’t know where this is calling us or what this will lead to, but our hearts have to be open after a rocking like that.

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