In short, 12 million people are affected in the worst drought and famine in the Horn of African region in approximately 60 years, including 500,000 to 600,000 Somali children who are at the brink of starving to death.
I participated in a ONE Mom hosted phone conference with Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, a couple weeks ago as she shared her recent observations from the famine area. Words cannot express the heartbreak and hopelessness that I felt while listening to the dialog between Mrs. McCain and the ONE Moms.
I love having great international reports especially when I hear of God showing up in mighty ways and working miracles like he still is and does. At other times, however, I come across reports like these and I’m compelled to share them.
I find myself asking God, “What can I do?” What can any of us do to have an affect on such a major problem, so far away, and well beyond our control. I know that every week I open the mail, read articles on the internet, go to church, and talk to family and friends where people clearly have a legitimate financial need. I find myself wishing that I had more, so that I could give more.
Life like the ones depicted in the below articles keep me humbled and focused. There is nothing like a stiff dose of reality to keep my priorities in order. When I have money to give, I do that. I hope that you will do the same.
At the same time, I know the temptation to get overwhelmed about what we cannot do, and so we do nothing. I would venture to say that all of us can do something.
If you can give, then give. Any number of these organizations could benefit from your financial support. Samaritans Purse is a Christian organization that is also committed to providing food, water, and aid to the people in this area. This is the work that they are doing to combat hunger and drought in the Horn of Africa.
If you cannot give, then do what you can and that includes:
1. Prayer for the deliverance of food, water, education, and medicine. Pray for labors to go out into this harvest. Pray for their safety and protection. Pray that God will multiply what has already been given. Pray that he will provide more than enough. Pray for the broken systems and leaders that allow this tragedy to go on. Pray that God will miraculously strengthen the men, women, and children who are suffering.
Please let us not under estimate the power of prayer!
2. Get educated and spread the word. Please take the time to read the below articles. Do not walk away from your computer and forget about them. Write letters or email your friends and family members; share them with your local church, government, and community leaders. Inform your book club. Post this on Facebook and share on twitter.
To get more details about the seriousness of this situation, please read and share:
The New York Times “Somalis Waste Away as Insurgents Block Escape from Famine”
Eugene Cho “Dear World: Please Wake Up!”
Shayne Moore wrote her reflections surrounding the ONE Mom phone conference here.
3. Ask questions. Someone else may have a means to contribute and take action that you have not thought of. Get involved.
Sign the ONE petition here.
Do what you can, but please, please, please, do something. Will you?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011