As we eluded to in March's newsletter & as Gomer also referenced in his latest news update, Niger is once again facing a "food crisis." In 2010, it was considered an all out famine. As it stands now, the current situation is still considered to be a "crisis," as in it's on the brink of a famine if something is not done. The government of Niger is working fiercely to alleviate this problem with the help of aid agencies, but as news sources declared yesterday, this may not be enough.
The rains did not fall consistently enough last year to produce good crops. The Songhai, who are mainly fishermen & farmers, rely on these crops that they only harvest once a year to last them throughout the entire year. According to a local aid agency, most villages are working on 50% of what they had the year before. Ayorou is working on 5% of what it had the year before.
This is a "crisis" that is affecting millions across our region but it also hits very close to home when we see our friends, our dear brothers & sisters in Christ, suffering. Some of our friends have had to leave the country to find work elsewhere to try & find money for their families. And although the rainy season is just around the corner, God willing, our friends will not see the fruit of that harvest for another 6 months.
Six more months of trying to scrape by & find a way to feed their families. This is something that I cannot wrap my brain around as I have MORE than enough sitting in my kitchen cabinets to feed my family for the next month. I do not know hunger like they do. I do not know desperation like they do. I do not know sheer dependence on God like they do.
But the amazing thing is that although our friends are suffering, their faith in God has not waivered. Not one bit. They have not once blamed God for this. They have not said, "Where are you God? Why am I suffering?" They continue to praise Him, worship Him & depend on Him for every minute of every day. And I think, "Do I have that kind of faith?"
Please pray for the entire region of West Africa that is facing this crisis. The news reports that 2 million could die of starvation if the right amount of aid is not delivered. Niger would be included in that.
Pray for our brothers & sisters who are suffering because of the food shortage. Pray for God to provide for every one of their needs, above & beyond. Pray for them to be able to have at least one meal a day to put on the table to feed their families. Pray for them to find jobs to be able to afford a meal since last year's crops are already long gone. Pray for them to remain healthy despite the lack of food & especially during this "malaria season."
Most of all, pray for them to remain strong in their faith. Pray they would draw closer to God than ever before as they depend on Him for their every need. Pray for them to seek His face & for Him to comfort them & bring them joy amidst the suffering.
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