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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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    • Give thanks that two small Christian communities in Niger have received livestock from Barnabas Fund to help them become self-sufficient. The Christians also received three days of training to learn how to take care of the animals. The predominantly Muslim region where these communities are located has endured more than a decade of food insecurity. Pray that the livestock will prosper, so that the Christians will be able to sell them at a good price and will become financially independent. Pray also that growing tensions between Muslims and Christians in Niger will not adversely affect them. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 8 hours ago

    • Almighty God, we call to You for relief for Christians in the Gwoza area of Borno state in Northern Nigeria, as they face repeated violent attacks by Boko Haram militants. We pray for comfort for the relatives and friends of the hundreds who have been killed, and for the thousands who have been forced from their homes and seen them torched. We ask for Your special protection on Christians as they gather to worship You. We pray for the Nigerian authorities to re-establish control of the area, so that the displaced Christians may be safe from further attacks and free to rebuild their shattered communities. We pray too for their persecutors to come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • “This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution. Allah says we should finish them when we get them.” The leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram was speaking in a video that reasserted their agenda and addressed “the people of the world”, saying, “Either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians.” The translation of the video was released as scores of people were killed in suicide bombings in May, including at least 118 in a double attack in Jos, Plateau state on 20 May. Pray that Boko Haram’s murderous campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Bible school students in Vietnam who were subjected to a terrifying night-time raid by police and hired thugs. On 9 June, officers swooped from adjacent rooftops into the church compound that houses the school, while vehicle-loads of people were brought to the site to vandalise the building with bricks, stones and sticks. The students were beaten, punched and kicked before being taken away for interrogation; 20 were left in need of medical attention but were prevented from leaving to find it. Thugs continued to attack the compound over the next ten nights. Pray for the students as they recover from this brutal assault and that they will stand firm in their faith in the face of intimidation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    • In an earlier incident in Saisomboon village, three teenage Christian girls were disqualified from taking their final school examinations because of their faith. The village chief said that in following Christianity, Noi (15), Net (15) and Nut (14) had forfeited their right to education. Five families from the village have now converted to Christianity. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom expressed the view that the authorities were trying to find every possible way “to stop the spread of Christian religious freedom in the area”. Pray that the girls will be allowed to complete their education and that opposition to the Christians in the village will cease. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Aug 2014 00:00

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