This May Make You Uncomfortable

I'm squirming a bit, myself.

Last night, while I was all tucked into my cozy bed and reading about the famine in East Africa (Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia), I got a little uncomfortable. I knew about the famine, but I didn't know much about it. But, after reading about it, I knew that I wanted to share a little something with you guys.

I know that this is a blog about the home and making lovely things. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But, would you mind if I stepped up on my soapbox (which was totally upcycled!) and write to you?

I'm on my soapbox now.

Let me tell you some things that I did not know before last night. Maybe you know them, maybe you don't.

--It is estimated that 29,000 children under the age of 5 have died in the last 90 days from starvation
--There are 400,000 refugees in camps in Kenya; these are people who are fleeing drought areas. Many have walked for weeks to reach these camps.
--This drought is affecting over 12 million people. 12 million.

I read this story last night and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I still can't.

Stats are sometimes hard for me to get my head around. Yet, I don't want to ignore them just because I'm thousands of miles away, and it really doesn't affect me.

I'm going to remind you (and me!) of something Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." And if you don't believe in Jesus, the golden rule is "Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself."

Katie Davis, founder of Amazima Ministries, says poignantly that she doesn't want to be starving herself, so why should she let others starve?

This is not a guilt trip about giving away money and simply doing something good.

This is a real situation. I'm thinking today about what I can do. I know that I can't save the nation. Or even save a life. Yet, I can't ignore it. I already ignore too many things.

I'm squirming because I feel convicted (and conviction is a little uncomfortable). I know that I will likely never feel true starvation. I will likely never experience a place of true despair. I will not have to leave my children, dying, on the side of the road. I hate knowing how much I have and feeling selfish for wanting to keep it. Yet, as I pray and think, my heart opens to their needs. Compassion overrides my own "needs."

I encourage you to read about the drought and really read about it. If you feel convicted or desire to help, here are some organizations (just a few of many!) that are working with victims of the drought and providing aid:

Kids Against Hunger:
They package nutritious food/meals that are being sent to the horn. $50 can provide 200 meals (each meal is about $.23). If you live in the Minneapolis area, you can even go and help them package these meals! They have a tab to the left on the home page to connect you to giving towards the drought.

World Vision:
They are a child sponsorship program and also are actively getting relief to those affected by the drought. You can watch videos on their website about what they are doing. 

Samaritan Purse
This organization is also providing food and aid to families and for the malnourished children.

**My hope is that this post did not make you feel "icky" or guilty. That is far from my intent! My hope is that we realize what blessings we have been given and graciously give to others. There are so many places that need help, this is one of many. I know that many of you give to so many wonderful organizations--keep at it!**


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