Tag Archives: resources

small acts of heroism

Ending hunger in our lifetime will transform the world. And it will happen by each of us simply doing what we can right where we are using the resources we have available.

Working together we are creating a global movement of heroes who care enough to do whatever is necessary to see that the hungry are fed and that justice is done for all our human family. Every word we speak, every action we take brings us closer to the day when hunger is just a memory.

Thank you for caring enough to act. Thank you for speaking out on behalf of the poor and the hungry. Thank you for helping change the world. You are a hero.

South Sudan at the breaking point

This piece by William Lambers is the latest story on the unfolding famine threat in South Sudan. Stop Hunger Now is urging all it’s friends and supporters to help raise awareness of this unfolding tragedy, and to support the relief efforts though the charity of your choice. Three million of our family at risk of starvation is simply not acceptable.

Oxfam warns about South Sudan crisis

The charity Oxfam is warning that South Sudan has reached a breaking point as conflict and a collapsed economy take their toll. A severe hunger crisis could threaten over 3 million people by June.

The war between the government and opposition forces has led to major food shortages. The already impoverished nation has been plunged deeper into despair.

Families are becoming increasingly desperate. Without a peace deal, things are likely to get worse. Emma Drew, Head of Humanitarian Programs for Oxfam in South Sudan, says,

What we’re seeing now is families that have spent the past year and a half living on the edge – many have exhausted their food stocks, been displaced from their homes, missed opportunities to plant and farm, and now the economy is showing the strain of a year and a half of conflict.”

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been leading the hunger response. The relief mission is one of the most dangerous in the world with the ongoing violence and lack of security. WFP reports three of its aid workers in South Sudan are missing. The three staff members were traveling to a food distribution on April 1st, but WFP has not been able to contact them since.

WFP has to move food around a conflict-torn country with poor roads. Airlifts are used to bring food to some areas. This is difficult and costly. The mission for South Sudan is already low on funding.

Oxfam is urging governments to step up funding for South Sudan. Most of all a peace deal must be achieved. The violence must stop and humanitarian workers must be allowed safe access. Until this happens, hunger will continue to escalate, leaving South Sudan at risk of famine.

“how dare you defraud the Lord?

“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”
John Wesley

The founder of Methodism was plain spoken. No one ever was confused about where Wesley stood on an issue. And from his earliest ministry Wesley stood alongside those whom Jesus identified as the “least of these,” the poor, the hungry, the widow and orphan, the stranger, the one in prison.

And John Wesley never shied away from talking about money, either. These words, first uttered in the 18th century, need to be taken to heart by all of us who call ourselves Christians today.

Our stewardship of the bountiful resources entrusted to us is critical to the depth of our discipleship. The acquisition and hording of great wealth is morally indefensible. Hording more, spending more for other than necessities in a world where 25,000 of our family die every day from hunger can not be justified.

Wesley is right. How dare we defraud our Lord by applying His gifts for any other purpose than feed those who are starving?

ugly, soul-destroying and a degradation to us all

I have been trying to live more responsibly for almost 40 years. I have not been as successful in that quest as I would like. Yet, I know it’s a task to which we all need to more fully committed.

Our planet has a finite amount of resources. As a person of faith I need to be a good steward of those resources. That means using less of those resources whenever possible, always being less wasteful, and recognizing that our world is home to far more folks than those here in my country. That means I need to share what I so often take for granted.

A large part of my struggle to live more simply comes from being immersed in a society that seems to live to consume, rather than consume to live. Capitalism, Consumerism, and Wastefulness has become our new trinity.

The words of E.F. Shumacher come to mind.  Our current lifestyle of over-consumption and wastefulness is not only a peril to the peace of the world; it’s a peril to the survival of the world.

Name a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of  future generations; as long as you have not shown it to be “uneconomic” you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow and prosper. 

help us walk more lightly

Most gracious and loving Creator, how thankful we are this day for all your blessings. We confess that far too often we live in a way that doesn’t demonstrate our gratitude for your goodness and your mercy. We are not as good stewards of your perfectly created world as we would like to be. We are wasteful of the gifts you have given us and take the beauty that surrounds us for granted. Forgive us.

Help us to be better stewards of all you have entrusted into our care. Grant us the insight to understand how closely we are connected to each other and all living things, and then grant us the wisdom and the grace necessary to live accordingly. Help us to walk more lightly on the earth that sustains us, and help us to share the abundant resources to have given us with all those most in need. And in all our endeavors, both great and small, grant that all we do brings you both glory and praise. Amen

the repugnancy of wasting food

Feel what it’s like to truly starve, and I guarantee that you’ll forever think twice before wasting food. – Criss Jami in Killosophy

I do not know what it feels like to starve. But I have been far too close to far too many who do know.

Some sights can never be forgotten. Some images can never be erased. The unspeakable anguish in a mother’e eyes as she watches life slip away from her starving child sears itself into memory for a lifetime.

That’s why wasting food is totally repugnant to me. No, I have never felt what it is like to starve. But I never see food wasted without it tearing at me.

Every mouthful of food is a gift. Wasting food is the height of arrogance. I despise it. It is a ugly demonstration of privilege and lack of community.

I pray for forgiveness every time I have to throw out something from my refrigerator. It doesn’t feed the hungry. I know that. But it does help me be more mindful. It reminds me that I need to live more responsibly and that millions of my family would love to have the food I am wasting.

 

 

the shame of all

I have often stated that hunger is not a problem. And I stand by that statement.

But, if hunger is not a problem, what, exactly, is it? Is it a social ill? Is it a political issue? Is it a spiritual issue?

We live in a perfectly created world with more than enough resources to supply the needs of every member of our human family. This has been true now for over 50 years. Yet, we allow over 25,000 people to die every day because they do not receive enough food to keep them alive.

How is that possible? What does that say about our humanity?

Hunger is an obscenity. It’s the most vile vulgarity uttered on our planet. And there is simply no excuse for any of us.

Every single child that cries herself to sleep from the pain of an empty stomach is a damning indictment of our frightening lack of moral values, both as individuals and of society as a whole. We would do well to remember that,

“The hunger of one is the shame of all.”

it’s all about Juggaar

Allen Renquist, Andrew Sullivan and I are still in Bangalore, India, arriving here in the wee morning hours this past Sunday after a brutally long trip from the Philippines.  Every day has been full of meetings as we work to get Stop Hunger Now India officially started, but with every meeting it is becoming more apparent that the heavy lifting has already been accomplished.

Every person we have met, every corporate executive, every Rotarian, every volunteer, every implementing partner; all are already making it happen. Everyone has demonstrated that they are not only totally committed to establishing the first Stop Hunger Now office in India, but they want to be leaders in the fight to end hunger here and around the world.

What is so beautifully obvious is that our work here has been established on a solid foundation of relationships, respect and juggaar. From our very first packaging event last December to the present, everyone involved with Stop Hunger Now has demonstrated this powerful trait that has already become my new favorite word.

Juggaar,  (or more commonly Jugaad) is a colloquial Hindu word that means an innovative fix, or for solutions that bend rules, or a resource that can be used as such, or even a person who can solve a complicated issue. It is often used to signify creativity to make existing things work or to create new things with meagre resources. It especially expresses the need to do what needs to be done, without regard to what is conventionally supposed to be possible.

Juggaar is a perfect description for the “can do/will do whatever it takes” attitude of all the dedicated folks that are committed to helping Stop Hunger Now create a global movement to end hunger here in Bangalore. I have already started calling all our supporters here TEAM JUGGAAR.

Stay tuned. Bangalore is going to be the center of some exciting activities as this group of leaders continues to do whatever it takes to end hunger in India.