Monday, August 8, 2011

Africa Famine - My Thoughts

A few days ago I was watching an interview with a representative from Doctors Without Borders on CTV’s Canada AM. I listened to the heart wrenching description of the conditions these people endure a world away every minute of every day and it brought tears to my eyes.

After the interview was finished I went into the kitchen, made myself some rye toast with peanut butter, sat down at the table and bowed my head to say grace. As I began to thank God for the food, a thought entered my mind that felt like a physical blow to the head. I really wasn’t grateful for the food. In fact as I’d been preparing it I was thinking how toast really wasn’t my favourite breakfast but it was quick and easy and I was too lazy to take the time to prepare anything else. I realized how much I take for granted in my life. Just the simple fact grain is available in abundance in Canada and I can have two pieces of toast on my plate each morning makes me one of the most blessed people in the world today!

Now I’m faced with a choice. I can accept the fact that I am one of the privileged people in this world and carry on obliviously with my life, or I can try to use that privilege to make a difference in this time of famine in Africa.

Can we actually sit back in this country, listen to the news reports, shake our heads in sorrow and then return to our normal lives unchanged by this tragedy? I suppose we can and if we do our hearts become a little more hardened to the plight of people all around us and it’s a little easier to ignore the next humanitarian disaster and the next and the next. I personally don’t want to live my life this way.

This time I really bowed my head in prayer. I begged God’s forgiveness for my ungratefulness and in tears asked Him to reveal to me how I might make a difference in the famine in Africa. What can we do as the blessed people in Canada to help the starving people of Africa? I think we all need to ask ourselves this question. What can we do to make a difference and feed these people in their desperate time of need? What can you do personally to help?

There are many wonderful organizations already on the ground in the Horn of Africa providing relief to the refugees who walk hundreds of miles in sweltering heat to get to their last desperate hope for survival – the refugee camp. Please visit some of these websites and consider giving to make a difference in this famine. The links below are for the Canadian websites but you can visit the corresponding sight in your country for non-government organizations offering aid in Africa.

Doctors Without Borders –
Compassion Canada –
Samaritan’s Purse –
World Vision –

What am I personally going to do about it? I’m starting a fundraising effort with a goal to raise $500 by August 31 for donation to Samaritan’s Purse to help with their efforts towards famine relief. The good news is that any funds donated by September 16 are eligible for matching funds from the Canadian Government so please consider donating now. What will you do?

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