This is the devotion I wrote for the “Feast of Praise” program in our community recently:
This has been a tough year. The economy has been struggling, our world has been hit by numerous hurricanes, the election year has brought much division and many have been concerned about the future. But we haven’t seen the worst of the problems here in our nation. Millions are starving in the world, with no relief in sight.
We are in the midst of a very serious Global Food Crisis. Food prices have tripled within the last six months. 100 million children are living on the streets. 130 million have no access to schooling. 33,000 children die every day from preventable causes. Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria alone. The question has been asked, “Why are so many people starving? Isn’t there enough food in the world?”
According to The Skeptic’s Guide to Global Poverty, “there is plenty of food in the world to feed every person, yet more than 800 million people are chronically hungry…the problem is not food production, but food availability. In many parts of the world people do not have access to adequate quantities of food or food with sound nutritional value.”
Imagine if this was you and your family. Imagine if you, like parents in Haiti, had to feed mud cookies to your children. What if you had no choice but to feed them warm water, “because it feels like food going down,” as some mothers in Burkina Faso have said recently.
I am reminded this time of year that our ancestors in Plymouth Colony spent the winter of 1621-22 starving. Half of the original number of Pilgrims had died. Food supplies were low, especially after a new ship arrived, cutting their meager rations in half. This left a daily ration of only five kernels of corn apiece.
If you had only five kernels of corn today, what would you do with it? Eat it? Give all to your children? Plant it? Thank God that you have something to eat? Parents have tough decisions like this in third world countries. We don’t even begin to understand their trials.
In spite of the suffering, there is also a global turning to God and a song of praise for His provision. 154,000 children accepted Christ in Compassion projects last year. Numerous supplies of rice, beans and eggs have been shared with families in deepest poverty. Medical needs have been met and children have learned basic educational skills. Families are rejoicing because of the generosity of others.
A sponsor recently visited her child in Uganda. Here is an account of the visit:
After we spent time with her, we left gifts for her children as well as a tub and bag of staples. Never in my life have I seen such a response to a gift — joy that she could not contain. She covered her face as she knelt before the food and started to sway back and forth. And then she erupted from the ground, raised her hands and started dancing. Now I’m not talking about subtle. I mean clap your hands, shake your booty, turn and sing at the top of your lungs dancing. And she went on for two minutes. The joy was so contagious all we could do was clap along with her and choke back the tears. (http://blog.compassion.com/uganda/)
In the midst of trials people often cry out to the Lord and turn to Him. In the midst of hardship, people with means often give to others in need. In the midst of that partnership, an amazing thing happens — both parties are blessed, because we truly need each other. Without sharing, the poor die in need and the rich die in greed. God designed a great partnership between cultures and families. Please, consider sponsoring a child today through Compassion International. Your life will never be the same again, and they will find hope for the future.
They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west. Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One. Isaiah 24:14-16 (ESV)