I walked through my yard this morning to put something in the mailbox. First, I was excited about the cooler temperature and being able to breathe the air, rather than chewing it. Then I noticed the crunching grass under my feet and remembered our lack of rain. Since August started I think we have had two light and short showers. My grass is brown and brittle . . . and ugly. It made me think back a couple of years, when Georgia and the surrounding states were in a severe drought. Most of what I noticed was increased water restrictions and a rise in food prices. But I didn't really feel the weight of a drought, other than a tighter budget. Living in the South, it seems like I've heard the word drought thrown around nearly every summer of my life.
I also started to remember the drought that is going on right now in East Africa. Other continents seem really far away until you put faces on them. Nigusse from Ethiopia and Rugwiro from Rwanda are my two small examples of a huge problem. These are faces on my refrigerator. They are also living, breathing children of God who are already living in extreme poverty. When you add a drought to extreme poverty, the results are catastrophic. It's hard to buy groceries in a drought when you're middle class, so think about how much harder it would be if your income was less than $1 a day. And if you're a farmer, you can't grow crops on parched earth.
The good news for Rugwiro and Nigusse is that they are "not located in the hardest-hit areas of drought, but are increasingly being impacted by food shortages, higher food prices and the influx of refugees into their areas due to the drought in neighboring nations." But this drought could eventually reach them. I'm asking you to pray. Pray for good rains to heal the land. Pray for the families, and especially the children, who are forced to live in these conditions. Pray for people to step up and give so that they can afford food. "Right now, in East Africa, an estimated 12 million people are suffering from malnutrition and a lack of food, affecting 35 to 40 percent of children under age 5." I also hope you'll visit this site and ask yourself what you can do to help. But even if you can't afford to help in a tangible way, please pray.