The youth group that I lead sponsors two children through World Vision. These two young boys live in Haiti and Mozambique and the $30 a month that we send helps to provide for their medical care, food, and education. I receive occasional progress reports about them in the mail and they even include drawings that the boys color. Even though I've never met these two young boys, and probably never will, it is very gratifying to know that what little we send to them is making a big difference in their lives.

Before I wrote this post I just finished reading through the latest World Vision magazine that came in the mail for summer 2006. In this edition there was an article about the problems of hunger in the African nations of Niger and Angola. The writer spent time in Niger and documented the stories of two young girls who were suffering from hunger and malnutrition. One of the girls was only 2 years old but she had been able to receive medical treatment in time to combat the effects of malnourishment and she had greatly improved over a short period of time. The other girl, Luciana who is 6, did not have such a happy ending. Her malnourishment left her the size of a 3-year-old and a week after the writer of the article left Niger she got word that Luciana had succumbed to the ravages of poverty and malnutrition and had died.

Reading that article absolutely broke my heart. Many in America will point out that there are plenty of people here who go to bed hungry each night. Yet, the reasons for poverty in America are tame - and fixable - compared to the reasons in places like Africa. Angola has suffered from war and land mines still cover once fertile farmland. Niger is a landlocked nation with no primary water source running through it and with the Sahara Desert encroaching steadily from the north. Add to that the blight that locusts bring to the crops and you have a recipe for disaster. The hardest hit from famine and poverty in nations like Niger are the children.

The pictures in the magazine of Luciana will stay in my mind for a long time. I realize that there is a lot involved with ending world hunger and poverty and it goes beyond just sending food. But, through organizations like World Vision there is a chance to at least help the children in countries like Niger and Angola live to see another birthday. If you read this and are moved to do something, then click on the World Vision link above or in the sidebar or the link to Compassion International and commit to sponsor a child in a country like Niger or Angola. Just giving up one or two meals at a restaurant per month will easily cover the monthly sponsorship and it will give a child a chance at a better life that might otherwise be impossible.

1 comment:

Gabe said...

Wow, thats something, if I had a job I would want to sponsor a child man. Hey, looks like i'm gonna have an internship this summer in Kissimmee, which will imobilize me. I will be able to go to tampa though, just not NC. Keep me posted on life in Yadkin county.

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