Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Special Offering for Famine Relief

UPDATE: Thanks so much to those who gave and gave generously! Together, we were able to contribute more than $1,000 to the IRC to provide emergency assistance. Thanks again and let's continue to be in prayer. If you would still like to give, you can do so directly the the IRC website.
Right now, a severe drought is plaguing East Africa, and an estimated 10 million people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are facing starvation. Many of you may not be aware of the extent of the food crisis, but what's happening is devastating, and the facts are overwhelming.
  • For the first time in over 20 years, the UN has declared a famine in southern Somalia.
  • Somalia is in the middle of a political crisis, and those who hold power in the region have been frustrating much-needed efforts to bring humanitarian aid.
  • Well over 1,000 Somali refugees are fleeing into Kenya and Ethiopia each day in a desperate search for food, water, and security.
  • Conditions in neighboring countries have been deteriorating as the famine worsens, and the worst effects are being felt by the most vulnerable. An estimated 29,000 children under the age of 5 have already died in the crisis.
It could be easy to let the statistics overwhelm and paralyze us. Instead, we have the option to choose prayer and loving action. In our sermons and worship songs, we acknowledge a God who "upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry" (Psalm 146:7). That same God is constantly extending us an invitation to join him in that work, and this is no exception.
This Sunday, we as a church have the opportunity to collectively respond with generosity. During the service, we will be taking a special offering for those suffering through this drought. The money collected will go directly to the International Rescue Commission (IRC), a crisis response organization that is working to provide emergency humanitarian assistance in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. To learn more about the famine and the IRC, click here.

Please consider giving generously this Sunday. And please keep the people of East Africa in your prayers.

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