I heard the other day what many would call “good news.” According to the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, the recession is over.
Only the thing is, the “good-ness” of this news is relative … it’s only true for those of us living within certain geographic boundaries (read: the developed world.)
So, while we may be seeing signs of economic improvement in our part of the world, many other parts of the world are still in dire straits.
I recently received a report from our staff in Guatemala that says there are 54,000 families seriously lacking food. Fifty-four thousand. UNICEF says that almost half of Guatemalan children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
While the food crisis is not new, the reasons behind this reiteration of it are different from before.
Whereas before the skyrocketing cost of food was almost solely responsible for the crisis, this time Guatemala is experiencing something like the Perfect Storm — a combination of adverse weather, poor soil and the effects of the global economic downturn have lead to a severe food shortage.
On the other side of the globe in Uganda, the situation is equally heartbreaking. The last report our staff submitted said that more than 4,500 of our children and their families are suffering from famine.
Kids are not attending school because they don’t have the strength to get through the day. People cannot take their HIV medication because it has to be taken with food.
And they have none.
Since the onset of the Global Food Crisis last year, we have distributed millions of dollars worth of food, medical treatment and nutritional counseling.
Together with your help, God blew us away with His abundant blessing during our Global Food Crisis Day on March 11.
We were able to meet the needs of many children like Doris, an 11-year-old girl from Guatemala who was malnourished, surviving on a diet of vegetables and chicken giblets once a day, and provide her with three meals of chicken, beef, vegetables, eggs, milk, Incaparina mixed with beans, corn flakes, rice and Protemás.
But for others, as the crisis goes on seemingly without end, it’s hard not to get discouraged.
There actually is good news, though: This economic imbalance has not taken God off guard. Actually, He knew we’d be in this predicament. That’s why He gave us clear instructions about what to do.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” — 1 John 3:17-18, NIV
And there it is plain as day — the key to solving this crisis.
While this side of the world might indeed be pulling out of the economic free-fall we’ve been in, those on the other side aren’t yet.
So, what I’d like to suggest is that this “recovery” is actually our opportunity. It is not an ending of something, but a chance to fulfill our purpose.
As we pull out of our economic tailspin, we have the chance — and the responsibility — to step up for those still spinning.