“There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.” – Mother Teresa
Nigeria is hungry
Since 2014, food insecurity in Nigeria has more than tripled. The causes are many: poverty, climate change, displacement; just to name a few. Thousands of internally displaced children we serve in Northeast Nigeria face hunger and starvation.
Take Heart partners with local churches to assess long-term solutions. Sometimes we plant trees. Other times we dig wells. We often provide loans for individuals to launch a business to provide for their families, helping secure precious food. And sometimes, we address immediate needs directly. As part of our Christmas celebrations, Take Heart provided meals in five displaced persons camps! The joy and gratitude from our siblings in Christ was overwhelming.
Everyone is hungry
It is sobering to ponder the poverty persecuted Christians face around the world. Sometimes we can feel worlds away sitting comfortably in our heated homes, our refrigerators stocked with holiday feasts. But before you feel a stab of guilt as you swallow a bit of Christmas leftovers, consider your own poverty.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9
We all start from the same place: without Jesus, we have nothing of value.
Are we so different from our brothers and sisters in Christ facing hunger every day? We do not all regularly feel physical hunger pangs. But as Mother Teresa acknowledges, not all hunger is physical. Where do you sense your own hunger and need? Are you aching for community? Are you starving for affection? Are you longing for the fulfillment of resurrection?
Everyone in Christ will be filled
“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” – Romans 8:23
Whether it is the audible groans of our stomachs churning or the internal weeping of our souls, we all hunger for redemption from our suffering. Praise God, our hope is not in vain! Emmanuel has come, and He will surely come again. One day, all hungry bodies and souls will be filled at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9).
Until then, what do we do with our gnawing hunger?
Today in solidarity with our persecuted siblings in Christ, recognize your own hunger and ask the Lord to provide for us all as fellow travelers in need of sustenance. Intercede with prayer and action on behalf of our siblings in Christ suffering from food insecurity. Ask God to open your eyes not only to our persecuted siblings in Christ, but also to the needs of those in your neighborhood or even in your own family. Praise Him for the “manna” he provides His people every day in the form of His grace, mercy, and kindness. Await with eager expectation for our coming King to satisfy our hunger once and for all.