(The following letters were received from two worthy mission organizations who work with the poor. EPM recommends and supports both. After receiving these letters we decided to give substantially from our EPM reserve funds. We encourage you to consider doing the same.)
Last week (Fall, 2002) I returned from Zimbabwe where six million people are in desperate need of food.
The intensity of the crisis in southern Africa is increasing faster than expected and the situation has deteriorated most in Zambia and Zimbabwe, where a disaster will only be averted by immediate action.
Right now, many families have literally nothing to eat. Malnourished children display the classic symptoms of hunger—distended stomachs and orange-tinted hair. People look out at barren fields, scorched by the sun.
The people of Zimbabwe have come to such a place of constant suffering that it has become a part of their daily lives. Without immediate help, many will die in the coming weeks and months.
An elder in one of the communities I visited said, “We are grateful for visitors from other countries who hear our cry for food—we are really starving. In the past when there was drought we could at least buy food. Even if you have money there is nothing to buy. Now that you have observed our situation, we have hope.”
Many of those suffering are Christians—our brothers and sisters in Jesus. Desperately weak from hunger, they don’t even have the strength to walk to church. Helplessly watching their people suffer and die, community leaders cry out for help. “All we have to live on is black tea,” one man told me.
If my heart aches, how much greater is my Heavenly Father’s pain?
It is imperative that the Church acts now. Together, we can save thousands of lives in Jesus’ name. We can be the “hands of Jesus” to the hungry in Zimbabwe and across this troubled region helping our brothers and sisters in their hour of distress. We can show others that the love of Jesus is real, because we live out what we preach.
Please, will you join me in prayer: that Jesus will protect His people in Zimbabwe and across southern Africa; that the Church worldwide will grasp this opportunity to “be Jesus” to families in peril; that the light of Christ will shine as churches distribute food; that this place of constant suffering will feel God’s peace.
Dr. Clive Calver, President, World Relief
Malawi and Zambia are two countries of only 10 million people each. However, there are an estimated 800,000 aids orphans in each country. A huge percent of the total population between the ages of 15 and 49 is HIV positive. Action International is partnering with several national evangelical organizations and local churches to minister the gospel and compassionate care to these children. We are very much concerned for the need for food for orphans and the extreme poor during these days of famine in Malawi and Zambia. Could you help provide maize and other food supplies during this crisis? Our prayer target is $79,000 to help many orphans and families during the present famine.
We’re also trusting God to be able to help clothe many of these children. We can purchase bales of clothing at only $138 each. Each bale has 600 pieces of clothing. We would like to purchase twelve bales for a total of $1656. This is equivalent to about 23 cents for each piece of clothing (dress, blouse, trousers, etc.). Each child or adult can be provided with three pieces of clothing for only 69 cents...yes, therefore only 69 cents to fully clothe a child or adult!
Would you please consider helping orphans and needy families in Malawi and Zambia, especially with food during this crisis?
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to [care for] orphans and widows in their distress...” (James 1:27). Thank you for prayerfully considering this need as the Lord leads in this project for orphans and the poor for the glory of God!
Doug Nichols, Director, Action International
As always, you can write a designated check to EPM and 100% will be sent directly to aid the poor.
Or you can write a check to the following:
World Relief, PO BOX 868, Baltimore, MD 21203, www.worldrelief.org
ACTION USA, PO Box 398, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0398, www.actionintl.org