The Global Food Crisis 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.

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  1. Chuck Guth
    Sep 30, 2009
    at 4:49 am

    Even at our “poorest” we have so much more- we NEED to give of our resources- it is a Biblical mandate. Thanks Becky for the reminder….

  2. Amy Wallace
    Sep 30, 2009
    at 7:03 am

    It’s good to see that something good can come out of this crisis: getting us off our butts and doing something about it.

  3. Sep 30, 2009
    at 7:42 am

    Beautiful post Becky. So well written and wonderfully convicting. You’re right; this is our opportunity to do what it is that God has allowed us to do–serve others, love others, provide for others out of our own abundance. Thanks for the remider.

  4. Sara Benson
    Sep 30, 2009
    at 8:45 am

    I agree. Now is the perfect time for the American church to once again step up and be the hands and feet of Jesus.

  5. Sep 30, 2009
    at 11:40 am

    Very well stated!

  6. Oct 1, 2009
    at 8:48 am

    Nothing like scripture to cut through confusion our muddled thinking to God’s Truth, and to the truth of God’s mandate to us. Great post, Becky; thanks!

  7. Amanda
    Oct 1, 2009
    at 9:02 pm

    Tonight I came across this article after getting quite a shock. I pulled up some information on “My Account” and found a new picture of my cutie pie (Naome) in Uganda. I have many pictures of this precious 5 year old, but the new one I found tonight scared me. She is wearing a light green dress that is so very big on her. But the problem is that she looks so thin! And that shy grin I am use to seeing has been replaced by a very hollow look in her eyes. Then to read this article about the families so hungry in Uganda is alarming!

  8. Oct 2, 2009
    at 9:05 am

    Hi Amanda,

    I understand your alarm. The effects of poverty are very ugly.

    I want you to know that Compassion is doing everything we can to address the overwhelming needs of our sponsored children and their families.

    In Uganda we are in the middle of a three month famine relief program. Specifically, we have targeted 12 child development centers that have the most critical need. Each registered child at these centers will receive with 1kg of maize flour per day and 1kg of beans per day.

    I hope this helps you to know we are taking extra measures to provide for the children in Uganda. If you would like to keep up to date on news about Uganda, you can do so here:
    http://www.compassion.com/sponsordonor/countrynews/ug/News/default.htm

    Becky

  9. Amanda
    Oct 2, 2009
    at 5:27 pm

    Becky, thank you for your response. I want to help too, but my resources are pretty limited right now. I will do what I can. Is there any way to find out if Naome is in one of the centers that is receiving the extra assistance? Thanks again for all you and Compassion are doing to help these precious little ones!

  10. Oct 5, 2009
    at 2:40 pm

    Amanda, I’d be happy to check for you.

    What is the number for your child’s development center? This is the two letter country code (UG) and first three numbers of your child’s number.

  11. Amanda
    Oct 6, 2009
    at 6:43 pm

    Becky,

    Naome is at UG148 and my correspondence child (Madina) is at UG127. Thanks for any information you can provide! And thank you so much for all you are doing for these precious little ones! God Bless!

  12. Becky
    Oct 7, 2009
    at 4:28 pm

    Amanda, neither of those centers are included in the list of 12 that are a part of this program.

    This does not necessarily mean that your children are not getting extra assistance, it just means they aren’t included in the program I described above.

    The good news is that because their centers are not a part of this program, they are likely not living in the area hit hardest by the food crisis. (An area in northern Uganda called the Lira/Apach Cluster.)

  13. Amanda
    Oct 7, 2009
    at 8:35 pm

    Becky,

    Thank you for checking on them for me. I am so grateful for all that Compassion is doing to help these precious children. May God Bless You for all that you do!

  14. Diane
    Dec 14, 2009
    at 6:29 am

    What about UG-925? I know it is south of Lira a short ways..

  15. Dec 16, 2009
    at 5:23 pm

    Hi Diane,

    UG-925 is one of the centers that is receiving the help.

    Becky

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