Wednesday, August 10, 2011

600,000 Children About to Die

As I write this post, I'm working on two very different things.  I'm preparing to officiate a very special wedding on Saturday, and I'm putting together a sermon to preach this Sunday on the 6th Commandment: "Thou shall not murder" (Ex 20:13). My heart and my mind are preparing, at the same time, for the celebration of the divine mystery of marriage, which promises to bring so much joy and life into this world, and for a message that will challenge us as a church to consider the darkest parts of the human heart.  These two things just don't go together.  


What strikes me, and indeed what I cannot get away from tonight, is how I am seeing this tension on the world stage: on display in East Africa we are seeing marriage and it's purpose being thwarted by disregard for the 6th Commandment and it's purpose.  It is the intersection of these two things that has brought about the famine in East Africa.  Children are being killed violent men. 


If the articles I am reading are correct, the famine is bad, but it has been exacerbated by corrupt government and by militant groups such as Al-Shabaab who restrict the flow of aid.  As a result of this corruption, CNN is reporting that approximately 600,000 children are starving to death right now in East Africa.  Those kind of numbers simply do not compute.  But the picture posted to the right does.  I cannot imagine seeing my own son in this condition.  I cannot imagine what it must be like to hold this baby.  I do not know if this little guy made it or not.  He's the same age as my son: seven months.  


I saw this picture last week and have not been able to shake it.  Babies are starving to death by the hundreds of thousands.  Lord, have mercy.  


At the bottom of this post I am going to provide a list of relief organizations through whom you can give to help with this tragedy, and apart from exhorting you to pray and to give, I would end with this hope (my Christian friends will understand):  Long ago, when evil men broke the commandment "you shall not murder" and killed Jesus Christ, a Marriage was inaugurated whose purpose cannot be thwarted.  On that day, God made the great Tragedy into our salvation and the beginning of the end of all such evil.  A new creation began, and the curse is being reversed.  One Day it will be gone, when these "former things have passed away." (Rev 21:4)


List of Relief Organizations (just click and give): 
Compassion International 
World Vision
Feed the Children
Samaritan's Purse

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