Finding Local Solutions to Weather the Ongoing Global Food Crisis

The entire world is going through a severe economic crisis, and these difficult conditions have also produced a food crisis in many countries around the globe.

México’s economy is not in good shape, and although México has not had a major food shortage; the main problem has been the constantly rising food cost and the distribution of the grains. Families can no longer afford to buy supplies for their children.

According to the social development secretary of state, most poor families in México spend more than 70 percent of their income just to feed their family.

Considering the cost of such basics as corn, beans, rice and other supplies, families have very little and barely any money left to cover the rest of their needs.

Rising costs, fuel costs and natural events, such as the drought in the north and central part of México or the floods in the south, harm the crops and leave the communities devastated.

Economy is normally measured with two basic indicators, income and expenses, and for these families, their income is lower and their expenses are higher.

Lack of employment, low wages and rising food prices have combined to worsen the plight of families here in Tabernillas and everywhere in the country.

The program director and other leadership from the Gethsemane Compassion-assisted program are clearly aware of the difficult situation the families here face and have taken the initiative to provide an answer to their community.

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The Key to Solving 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.

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One Million Prayers

Whenever we pay attention to just the news and not God’s Word, it can get depressing, can’t it?! Headlines with doom-filled words like depression and recession and deflation are daunting.

But I recently got an e-mail from our senior vice president of international program, and he included this verse, which helped me take a long deep breath. (I hold my breath when I get stressed. Bad habit.)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) 

The peace of God. Exhale. 

Which transcends all understanding (even that of economic forecasters). Inhale.

Will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Exhale.

We are guarded, we are protected by God. We don’t know what will happen in this world or with this economy, but we do know that God has us in his hands. And as David Dahlin reminded us, we have the prayers of a million children surrounding us. All our church partners around the world and all Compassion-assisted children have been asked to pray. To pray for God’s peace, provision, security, direction and wisdom for us. Can you imagine? I’m humbled right down to my marrow.   

A colleague from Kenya, Barrack, shared this message recently:

Throughout the chaos of our economic situation, we should not worry because Compassion will be protected. Although Compassion is accustomed to helping the children, during this season it will be the prayers and the tears of the children that will protect Compassion

Wow. Talk about a cloud of witnesses surrounding us. I can think of no better prayer partner. With these little brothers and sisters, let us throw off everything that hinders us and, holding their small hands, run with perseverance, our eyes fixed on Jesus.   

 

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The World Needs Light Now More Than Ever

I expect that many of you are aware of the global economic situation. Developed economies around the world are reeling. Food prices around the globe have skyrocketed. Businesses are struggling.
Non-profits are laying people off, cutting back programs and scrambling for donations. The world seems dark.

So, how will we respond?

We will not shrink back in the face of adversity. God has called us to be an advocate for children in poverty, and the children need our voice to ring strong and clear when speaking out on their behalf.
We know that when the rich of the world catch a cold, the poor get pneumonia. When the well-off suffer, the poor die. The world needs light now more than ever.

Nonetheless, economics are a reality.

You, our sponsors and donors around the world, are feeling the financial strain already and will likely feel this for months, if not years, to come. So, what do we expect the impact on Compassion to be?

Truthfully, only God knows. But we know that in the end God will prevail.

We know that He will be faithful to His word and to His promises and so, with God’s help, we will prevail. Things may not go exactly according to our plans, but I am confident that God will continue to allow us to help more and more children in a deeper and more profound way, despite the economic and food crises.

In our Executive Group devotions the other day, my co-worker Laurie shared from Isaiah 42 and I think it was Scripture meant for all of us.

Since we are to be Christ in this world, read the passage below knowing that Compassion is God’s servant:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. …He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. …I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles. …I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (VS. 1, 4, 6, 16, NIV).

So, be encouraged. We are all in the palm of God’s hand, and as we pray for the children one million children around the world are praying for us.

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