“I’m starving to death!”
It’s 11:30 a.m. on a typical work day. I’m leaning over the side of my cubicle to complain to a coworker. It’s been three hours since I’ve eaten breakfast, and I’m already anticipating lunch.
I whine as if I’m powerless to stop my stomach from growling. But in reality, I have no idea what it feels like to actually “starve to death.” I use the words to describe my impatience for the food that’s right around the corner waiting for me. But for countless people around the world, those words are all too real.
Countries like Haiti, Nigeria, Uganda, Syria, Iraq, Zambia and Zimbabwe are in the throes of a true hunger crisis.
The main reasons? Crop failure, drought, violence, and extreme poverty.
It’s challenging to stop myself, close my eyes and step into the shoes of a woman living somewhere in Haiti who may be watching her child slowly waste away from malnutrition. It’s hard to imagine myself as a refugee in Syria who fled her home because of constant violence.
But even though I truly have no idea what it’s like to go to bed hungry, I’m still called to action. As Christians, we are commanded to look after the needs of others.
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus describes the day when we’ll all give an account of our actions — good and bad:
[The King will say,] “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Whenever we help an orphan, a widow or an impoverished individual, we are shining the light of Jesus Christ in a dark situation.
Mother Teresa, one of the greatest humanitarians of our time, put it this way:
Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted according to the graces we have received, and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.
This is one of the things we strive to do at World Help. We have been working with partners and volunteers to distribute critical supplies to families across the world that are facing famine. Through meeting their physical needs, we also have had the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them and meet their spiritual needs. We hope that with each warm meal and cup of cold water, we are shining Jesus’ light into their lives.
God calls us to be light — to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked and give shelter to the homeless. Is he calling you, too?
Kelsey Campbell writes for World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world.