One million. That’s how many children are “acutely malnourished” in South Sudan right now. Jeremy Hopkins, a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative, explains
, “If we do not reach these children with urgent aid many of them will die.”
Ongoing war in the region and a collapsing economy have left 100,000 people facing starvation. Families have exhausted all their means to survive. Farmers have lost livestock and tools, and people are already dying from hunger. The number of “food insecure” people will probably rise to over five million by July, the peak of the “lean” season.
The Sudan is not an easy place to live. Since 1983, at least two million people have died from famine and civil war. Over 200,000 were taken into slavery during the Second Sudanese Civil War. There is little freedom of the press and religious freedom is severely restricted
. Muslims who convert to Christianity often face the death penalty.
Do you think the extreme challenges in South Sudan tell us we are nearing the second coming of Christ?
From the time of Abraham in Genesis to the overthrow of spiritual Babylon in the book of Revelation, famines have frequently occurred throughout the Bible. Sometimes they came by drought, other times as a result of war, and often as a result of God’s judgments. King Ahab’s evil leadership brought on a severe famine in Israel.
Famines, according to Christ, are a sign of the last days. Jesus said, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). We certainly see the marks of starvation today. The United Nations estimates that about 795 million people in the world (one in nine) suffer from chronic undernourishment.
Our hearts should break as we hear of the hunger in our world. More important, we should pray for and support efforts to provide bread for the physically hungry. Let’s also remember to support efforts to provide the Bread of Life for those hungering for Christ’s return.
Listen to A Famine in the Land
, Pastor Doug's powerful presentation about hungering for God's Word.