When most people in the West think of Africa, the word hunger usually comes to mind. As a child of the 80’s, I remember the efforts of the entertainment community to raise funds for African aid by singing and writing pop songs like “tears are not enough”. Although Africa is a land blessed in natural resources, sometimes the combination of corrupt governments and drought conditions combine to produce wide spread famine.
The famines caused by these realities have created mass migrations of people across the dark continent and have destabilized regions and led to the deaths of millions of people. Some have risen up and decided to use science and technology to help eradicate hunger from Africa. Although this task seems almost too massive to successfully manage, some have made progress. Epap is a great example of this phenomenon. Developed by scientists and chemists with a social conscience, this porridge is mixed with water and given to those who are suffering from malnutrition. Because Epap is fortified with vitamins and minerals that many poorer African children are not getting in their diets, children who eat Epap are better able to concentrate and thus succeed in their education.
We met with a lady who is involved in a program to distribute Epap along the Garden Route where there are poorer township communities as well as schools full of kids who need the kind of energy Epap can give them. If you are interested in learning more, you can go here: http://www.epap.co.za.
We also were involved in a feeding in one of the township communities that surround Knysna. The kids received a bowl of stew, containing vegetables and kind of fish, used for its omega three oils, and a couple of prices of bread. Shane, Ashley, Janet and I joined with Cynthia, a lady from the community who prepares food for the program and Amy, a single lady missionary with BWM who led Bible songs and told the story of the prodigal son as the kids sat and listened.
Then we distributed the pencil crayons we brought from the church and the Canadian pins that Faith Nagle got from Rodney Weston. The kids were excited by the gifts! After eating they skipped off down the streets in every direction…perhaps wondering when they would receive a meal again!
There is another kind of hunger in Africa however, and it s a spiritual one. Not that there are no churches here, on the contrary, we have seen numerous churches, many more than we expected to see, but there is a famine in hearing the words of The Lord. Like Amos, who in 8:11 spoke of a day when there would be a famine in hearing the words of the Lord, there is a need to fill the hearts amid minds of Africans with the soul-nourishing, life-giving words of God. And so to that end, we gathered at Dave and Julie’s house last night to have a Bible study which providentially was on James 2:14 and the verses that follow. Our souls and bodies were fed as we preceded the Bible study with supper. We were able to meet some of the folks who make up the church here, and to connect with them.
Looking forward to today, when I am sure, we will enjoy yet another adventure on our trip to Africa.
Thanks again for praying!