Tag Archives: Gandhi

wrestling with the snake

Several people have recently congratulated me on my work anniversary with Stop Hunger Now. I officially founded Stop Hunger Now on January 1, 1998, 17 years ago. Before that I was co-founder and co-director of the the Society of Saint Andrew for 18 years. That’s 35 years of walking along side the poor and hungry, trying my best to end the scourge of global hunger. A lot of folks have asked me why.

Those questions remind me of Gandhi’s response when asked about of his involvement in politics.

If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircle us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake.

Hunger is biggest, scariest snake in the world. It’s the most obscene and most unnecessary evil of our age. Most of us try to ignore it, flee from it, or throw money at it…hoping it will just go away. What is actually needed is for us to destroy the snake once and for all. I, for one, will continue to wrestle with the snake.

 

 

SHN’s Team Juggaar in Bangalore

Night before last we had the opportunity to gather all the wonderful folks who have been instrumental in helping open Stop Hunger Now India. It was a delightful evening of getting to know one another, sharing past successes, new ideas and plans for Stop Hunger Now’s future in India, and being inspired by the knowledge that by working together we can make a real difference on behalf of the hungry here in India.

Everyone of our friends in this photo is a leader in the fight to end hunger on our lifetime. Gandhi wisely remarked that action denotes priorities, and this group of leaders are clearly demonstrating their priority is to help end hunger in India.

Pictured (left to right) (front row) Sherin George, Anjani Kumar, Hatim Amreliwala, Hatim Dawasaz, (second row) Supria Dhanda, Mr. and Mrs. Nitesh Shah, Sripathi Nilkar, Naresh Mittal, Deepika Mittal, Archana Sahay, (third row) Andrew Sullivan, Srichand T. Rajpal, Allen Renquist, Amit Agarwalla, and yours truly.

Team Jugaarr

Sierra Leone pastors battling hunger as well as Ebola

Sierra Leone  is at the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic epidemic ravaging West Africa.  The epidemic has already killed almost four thousand and has brought the country to a standstill.

Last week I received a call from the Reverend John Yambasu, Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone. John and I have known each other for over twenty years, and when he calls I listen, not because he is a bishop, but because we are close friends and I know he is a man of great faithfulness.

John called with a plea for help. He needs food for the 200 United Methodist pastors and their families in Sierra Leone Conference. Could Stop Hunger Now help?

The need is both real and immediate. Ebola has caused the collapse of  Sierra Leone’s economy. People cannot work. Huge swaths of the country are under quarantine. That means far fewer people are attending worship services, and those that can attend have no money. Pastors are already starting to do without. They have no resources with which to purchase food.

Stop Hunger Now has already been responding the the Ebola epidemic. We have shipped over two million meals to various partners in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other West African countries. None of it, however, was specifically targeted to reach the United Methodist Church.

Now, UMCOR  (United Committee on Relief) has established two separate accounts for providing the critical aid need on both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Every dollar contributed goes directly to meet the need of those in the impacted areas. Please prayerfully consider helping and helping as generously as you are able. The fund for pastors salaries will enable them to purchase food for their families during this ongoing tragedy.

Here is the link on the UMCOR website:
http://www.umcor.org/umcor/donate/ebolaresponse  There is an Advance # for Sierra Leone and one for Liberia as well., two separate funds.
The link below is the donation page for pastors’ salaries in Sierra Leone
Gandhi wrote that “Action expresses priorities.”  My prayer is that our priorities would clearly demonstrate our love and care for our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Please help. Take action now.

 

 

 

none are so blind

I have a vision of a world without hunger. And I am committed to ending hunger in our lifetime. Like Gandhi, I know that “this world has enough for every man’s need, but not enough for every man’s greed.”

Meeting the real needs of the poor and hungry simply requires sharing the abundant resources with which we have been so richly blessed. And the amount needed is far less than we might imagine.

A $175 billion a year would easily meet the Millennium Development Goals. That breaks down to less than $250 a year for the 850 million of us that have an above average income (based on the average income of Portugal, the lowest income nation in Europe).

This amount, $175 billion, would allow us to cut the number of poor and hungry in half. Think about it, less than $250 a person could save millions of lives a year and bring even more millions out of the shadow of crushing poverty.

Why don’t we make it happen? Are we too selfish to care? Or is the deeper truth that we are in chains ourselves, too chained by our riches to break free enough to act on behalf of those dying from our refusal to see the truth?

The words of Cyprian, a bishop of Carthage in the third century seem appropriate.

Their property held them in chains…chains which shackled their courage and choked their faith and hampered their judgment and throttled their souls…If they stored up their treasure in heaven, they would not now have an enemy and a thief within their household…They think of themselves as owners, whereas it is they rather who are owned: enslaved as they are to their own property, they are not the masters of their money but its slaves.