No one likes being hungry. But when you’re hungry, there’s a big difference between knowing exactly when you’re going to have your next meal and not knowing when you’re going to get something to eat. Beatrice and her family, who live in Kenya, are experiencing real hunger. Real hunger saps ones energy, but it can also take away ones future. Without enough to eat, people are suffering to the point of desperation, and what starts as hunger pangs can end in tragedy. Beatrice and her husband are farmers in Kenya. Because there has been no significant rainfall for two years, their crops have failed to grow.
For miles around her community-hundreds of miles even-the fields have become dusty, brown wastelands. And, as the land continues to bake under the dry sky, Beatrice is seeing more and more people in her community die from starvation. Though Beatrice and her husband love their children and work as hard as they can to provide, the children are always hungry -and they can’t help but wonder: Will they be the next ones to die? It can be a desperate feeling for a mother when she can’t properly feed her family–and because of the severe drought, that’s the majority of the time for Beatrice and others like her.
Beatrice is home each day taking care of their children and doing the household chores. Her husband leaves early each morning to try to find odd jobs in the nearest village -anything that will bring in even a little money. Some days, he makes the equivalent of $3. Some days he makes nothing. That means most days their kids go to school hungry. On the days her husband is able to find a job and earn a little money, Beatrice buys some food and makes dinner for her family.
They save the leftovers for breakfast the next day. Beatrice’s family-and so many others in areas affected by drought and famine-can’t keep going like this. The lack of nourishing food can take a devastating toll, especially on children. With such poor nutrition, Beatrice’s children are much more likely to get sick. As their bodies grow weaker, they won’t be able to fight off illness and disease. But with no money, Beatrice and her husband can’t afford any kind of medical help -not the hospital, not the local health clinic, not even simple medicines that could be the difference between life and death.
It is for people like Beatrice and her family that ADRA exists. It is ADRA’s mission to deliver life-changing assistance that people like Beatrice need. It’s more than just food; it’s hope and it’s a future. It’s a world-changing echo of the words of John 10:10: “Life, and life more abundantly.” As the shadow of the pandemic lingers over our world, suffering and poverty are growing once again. More families are hungry. More people are thirsty and drinking dirty water. More mothers are unable to access health care for their children. More parents can’t work or productively farm. And more children are not in school. The need for us to continue serving -to follow Jesus’ footsteps toward “the least of these” with open arms and hearts- is greater now than ever. And by seeking justice, compassion, and love in every corner of the globe, we can ensure that people like Beatrice and her children can grow healthfully and happily toward a brighter future.