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Feeding Hungry Christians

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Feeding Hungry Christians

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In Western society, we often take the availability of food for granted. However, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations predicted that in 2009 world hunger would have reached a historic high of 1.02 billion people going hungry every day. Particularly affected are countries in Africa and Asia, where, for many, including Christians, it is not a question of “What food will I choose?”, but more a question of “What can I afford?” or even “Will I eat today?”

The Bible’s Call to Feed the Hungry

Feeding-Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean Christians working together to unload the food parcels received from Barnabas

As we read with our eyes open to God’s priorities (Psalm 146:7), we see that there are many places throughout the Bible where He tells us to care for others out of our wealth, in gratitude for what He has done for us. In Isaiah, we are told:

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: Is it not to share your food with the hungry... and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:6-10)

Ezekiel acknowledges that a righteous person

...does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked... He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezekiel 18:5-7)

This theme of helping to feed those who are hungry is carried from the Old Testament through to the New Testament, where it is applied specifically to feeding other Christians. The parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) says the following:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...” (Matthew 25:31-35)

When those on His right ask “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?” (Matthew 25:37), the King replies “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

Jesus identifies so closely with His people in their suffering that how we respond to them is directly related to how we respond to Him.

And so we should recognise that God has chosen us to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters who are hungry. James 2 also sets out this responsibility clearly:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if people claim to have faith but have no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

So as God’s people, we are called by the Lord to minister to His suffering people, Christians who are scattered across the world in situations of great need and persecution, despised, weak, vulnerable and oppressed. Paul tells us that “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10, emphasis added).

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • Cry out to the Lord for 33 Christians who have been sentenced to death in North Korea. The believers are thought to have been working alongside Kim Jeong-Wook, a South Korean missionary who was arrested in October 2013. Jeong-Wook has admitted trying to “create a network of house churches in North Korea” and was also said to be carrying Bibles and other Christian literature. His alleged associates are accused of trying to overthrow the government and of receiving a large sum of money for the construction of 500 house churches. Pray that these executions will not be carried out and that international pressure will be brought to bear on North Korea to release Kim Jeong-Wook and to cease its intense anti-Christian persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 2 hours ago

  • Praise God for the release of John Short, an Australian missionary who was detained in North Korea for distributing Christian leaflets. John, who is 75 and based in Hong Kong, was reported to security officials in Pyongyang after he was spotted leaving a Christian leaflet at a Buddhist temple, an act that is illegal in North Korea. Further Korean-language Christian pamphlets were subsequently found in his hotel room. John, who was released on 3 March after two weeks in custody, was required to sign a confession probably scripted by the authorities. Other foreign missionaries arrested in North Korea have been given long prison sentences. Give thanks to God that John has escaped further punishment, and pray for him as he recovers from his traumatic ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for Barnabas Fund partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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