It was Sunday. Margaret had not eaten for two days. She felt very weak but was determined that nothing would stop her from going to church. Somehow she managed to get to the service, carrying the three-month baby she is breast-feeding, but then almost fainted from hunger. Other worshippers noticed her distress and, even from their own severe poverty, found food to share with her.
Margaret is part of a Christian community of about 100 families ― converts from Islam and their children ― who live in a village in a Muslim-majority part of northern Kenya. Most of the Christian men make charcoal for a living, but charcoal prices have dropped so their earnings are very small. Their wives gather firewood and take it to the town to sell. One meal a day is now the norm.
“God bless you for remembering this people”
When food aid from Barnabas was distributed at Margaret’s church, soon after the day she almost fainted, Pastor Isaac said:
Hunger/famine has troubled many … but today we are thankful to those who have brought us food. We are so happy with the 10kg of maize flour, 5kg of beans and 2 litres of cooking oil. We have nothing to give you, but we ask God to shower you with grace upon grace.
To church member Lucy, the food aid was like the longed-for rains that have not fallen for two years.
Kenyan missionary Charles, who helped with the food distribution, described how he could see the joy of the people as he shared out the food, and heard them whispering to one another in their mother tongue “God has remembered us.”
“Jesus Christ had compassion when He visited [this] church and used Barnabas Aid to feed those hundred families who have been starving,” said Charles. “God bless you for remembering this people.”
Help us to keep feeding the forgotten Christians
The drought in northern Kenya has been declared a national disaster, and half a million Kenyans are at risk of starvation. In this Muslim-dominated part of the country, Christians are usually left out when government food relief is distributed. But through Barnabas Aid you can feed our desperately hungry brothers and sisters. Working through local churches like Pastor Isaac’s, food is channelled to the neediest and most vulnerable.
We are half way through the planned aid distribution programme; please help us to complete it.
The cost for one month’s supply of maize flour, beans and cooking oil for one family is around $35.
10kg maize flour $13.60
5kg beans $11.10
2 litres cooking oil $10.30
Food for one family for two months $70