I’ve seen hunger up close. In the dusty villages of West Africa, I have seen the extended bellies caused by malnutrition and the desperation in the eyes of a mother who doesn’t know how to feed her baby. These images are hard to forget. When I look at my own daughters today and think about not being able to feed them, I can’t imagine the helplessness felt by those who cannot feed their own children. I don’t want to imagine it, but for the sake of those who are hurting, I must imagine it.
There was a time when the images I witnessed in Burkina Faso would be limited to the pages of LIFE magazine for most Americans. Yet today, the information age has transformed our ability to know world realities. In a matter of seconds, we have access to the statistics, the stories and the faces of those who are affected by all manner of human needs–the most pressing of which is hunger.
- One out of six people in the world today are undernourished.
- 3.1 million children under the age of 5 die each year because of hunger-related causes.
- One out of seven people in the United States access food banks to provide food for themselves and their families.
Unfortunately, because of the crush of data and statistics around us, it can be easy to run right past these numbers. I want you to stop, though, and think about them for a moment. Consider your own family, your friends and your church. What if those statistics were born out in the circle of people you know and love? I’m positive most, if not all, of us would be moved to do something.
Friends, we are without excuse. All over Scripture we are called to serve the physical needs we encounter, yet many of us spend our days focused on our own needs and wants. How is your church addressing this global crisis? How is your family serving those in need in your community? Have you prayed for those who don’t know where to go for their next meal?
On Oct. 11, churches across the country will participate in Global Hunger Sunday, calling attention to the hunger needs around the world and in their community, as well as taking steps to end this crisis. Global Hunger Relief exists for this purpose, supporting projects implemented to feed the hungry and transform communities. I am extremely grateful that 100% of every dollar given to GHR goes directly to hunger-related projects. There’s no administrative entanglement to limit the advance of your money to help eliminate this tragic problem.
Today, GHR dollars are being used to fund a formula program in West Africa–feeding up to 300 babies a week who would otherwise be severely stunted or die from lack of proper nutrition. This project and hundreds of others are taking place through the work of GHR partners like IMB, NAMB and BGR. I wish you would consider joining us on Oct. 11 to show these faces to your congregation, tell these stories, and help us save lives in Jesus’ name.
Resources and videos for participating in Global Hunger Sunday are available at http://globalhungerrelief.com/resources.