Sunday, July 24, 2011
On the Horn of a Dilemma
In conversation with my mother the other day she asked if the United Church was doing anything in response to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and surrounding African nations. Her thoughtfulness and compassion are among the reasons I would like to keep her around for a while. I could tell her that just the day before the United Church had launched an appeal to its members, promising that 100% of any gift would make it to our partners in those countries of what is called the Horn of Africa.http://www.united-church.ca/
For a time Western aid groups could not help in Somalia despite the millions of people who were starving as a result of the drought. Islamic extremists kicked international organizations out because they are "infidels." Now they have been invited back because of the severity of the crisis.
The existence of food refugees is not a new problem. In fact, the book of Ruth in the Older Testament is built around a family that left Israel for Moab in search of food, only to return when loved ones died. What we are seeing now though are severe conditions which may be human made, what we call climate change.
Whatever the cause, people are suffering, including hundreds of thousands of children. Today I will appeal to the congregation to give through their Sunday offering, or directly to the United Church. I hope people are generous, which is usually the case at St. Paul's. Do you plan to respond to this crisis?