Missions Wednesday: Famine in Africa

Last week I wrote about the current famine in the Horn of Africa. It's really consumed a lot of my thinking as reports continue to come out of this drought and famine ravaged region, like the fact that 29,000 children have died from hunger in the past 90 days (as of August 4). The news reports show desperate mothers and fathers carrying weary children hoping that their long travel will mean aid for their families. It's absolutely heartbreaking.

It's hard to fathom what a shortage of food would look like here in America. I have a full pantry, full freezer, and the means to go and buy whatever I want if I'm hungry. In fact, I rarely think about my hunger. I just eat. I was listening to Dr. Mohler yesterday, and like so many other things, his thoughts on the famine were helpful to me. He basically said that this crisis is a man-made crisis. There are people with an abundance of relief and food waiting to provide aid to Somalia and they are blocked by the Shabab or fear of what the Shabab would do to them. Somalian people are being abandoned by their own people. And that is what makes this disaster even more devastating.

Somalia is a closed country to missionaries and one of the hardest countries to get into. Years of violence and oppression have made it so that the threat of a foreigner being killed is real and enough to scare many away. And now Somalia (and many other surrounding countries) are virtually forced to open their borders to allow aid in. Only time will tell if they do. Already the Shabab have released Mogadishu to the Somalian government. This is a start. As Christians who believe our Bibles we know that God has used famines to preserve a people for himself and to save those who do not yet know him (Gen. 41-43; Ruth 1). He loves the nations and desires even Somalians to fall on their faces in worship of him. May it be so for many of them, and may God use this bitter and desperate circumstance of famine to bring many Somalians to the foot of the cross.