I am sure you are all as heartbroken as I am about the tales and pictures of starving children coming from the Horn of Africa where severe drought and lack of food is threatening the lives of millions of people from Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.
On Tuesday, July 26, I read a moving essay about this situation in the Opinion Exchange section of the Star Tribune (www.startribune/opinion.com) titled, “Please Don’t Look Away.” That article stayed with me as later that morning I read the Gospel for Sunday, July 31. When Jesus’ disciples suggested that he send the crowd he had been caring for away so they could go into the village and buy themselves something to eat, Jesus said, “They need not go away, you give them something to eat.” “You give them something to eat” leap off the page and an idea was born that I immediately wrote to Bishop Brian about.
Bishop Brian like my idea and put me in touch with The Rev. Canon Tim Hodapp, Missioner for Mission, and the result is this letter to you asking that on Sunday, August 7 our congregations take up a special donation to be pooled together and sent through Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) to provide food to the starving African people.
According to Caryl M. Stern, author of “Please Don’t Look Away,” there is a nutritious peanut paste packed with proteins and vitamins that has been developed and is saving the lives of starving children. It is ready to use and doesn’t need to be refrigerated or mixed with water, which is perfect for that area of the world right now. Just $10 can feed a child for ten days.
That spare change at the bottom of your purse or the couple of dollars in your pocket adds up when pooled with offerings from other members of your congregation. It adds up to a lot when combined with the contributions of communities across the diocese!
Please join me and the family of St. Mary’s Basswood Grove in saving the lives of these children. Send what you collect next Sunday to me at:
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
8435 St. Croix Trail So.
Hastings, MN 55033
I will send it from all of us in The Episcopal Church in Minnesota to Episcopal Relief and Development (www.er-d.org) who will make sure it gets to the neediest of the Horn of Africa people.