LANCASTER, Pennsylvania (ANS) — As anti-Christian violence soars in West Africa, thousands upon thousands of families have lost their homes, possessions, livelihoods and crops, according to Barnabas Fund.
The agency says their most urgent need is food. As displaced people, they have no way to support themselves. Famine is looming and the regions where Christians have sought refuge are struggling to feed them.
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Barnabas Aid stood by the Christians of Syria throughout the civil war, giving humanitarian aid of many kinds but especially food. As Christians they endured persecution for their faith in addition to all the horrors of war.
Now the agency says there are many other Christians hungry, destitute and suffering – simply because they follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Barnabas Aid is there to help them.
The ministry says in a recent update that Gabriel was at his market stall when militants attacked his village in Burkina Faso. The gunmen opened fire and he fled for his life, along with everyone else at the market. His wife was home with their toddler and baby at the time, but when he got back there in the evening the house was empty.
Distraught, Gabriel found his wife and children in Kaya city, Burkina Faso, after desperately searching for a week. Barnabas was providing for their practical needs.
For a week, Gabriel went from village to village, searching. The militants had warned they would be back at his own village in three days to kill anyone they found there – especially Christians.
“As a Christian, I didn’t know where to go, I couldn’t take anything. I was only looking for my wife and my two children. I almost became mad,” Gabriel explained.
“Christians we don’t know are sending us help”
Eventually he was reunited with his wife and children in Kaya city, where many people had fled for refuge. He was overwhelmed to find that Christians far away – Barnabas Aid supporters – had been taking care of his family.
“You gave us clothes, shelter and food,” said Gabriel, with tears in his eyes. “Christians we don’t know are sending us help. This is strengthening our faith and giving us the sense of the real body of Christ. Wherever they are, may the Lord bless them and rescue them in difficult times as they did for us.”
“Rescued by people whom I have never known”
Ngaldiyé, a widow from Cameroon, ran to her pastor crying with joy when she received the aid sent by Barnabas.
“Is this really for me?” she asked, thinking it must be a mistake. She too had been displaced by anti-Christian militant violence, and everything she owned had been burnt or plundered when her village was attacked.
When Ngaldiyé was finally convinced that the aid was meant for her, she melted into tears, saying, “God, You who do not give up Your children, here I am rescued by people whom I have never known even for one day.”
The ministry explains that $15 could provide a 22 lb bag of rice plus sugar, lentils, bread and salt for an impoverished family in Bangladesh. $25 could provide a 48 lb pack of flour plus beans, cooking oil and salt to a vulnerable South Sudanese refugee family in Camp Rhino, Uganda, and $38 could provide a 110 lb sack of rice plus cooking oil and hygiene items for a displaced family in Burkina Faso.
The ministry said: “Christmas approaches and we rejoice in the birth of Christ, we also remember that He experienced persecution and flight, even as an infant. When King Herod gave his order to kill all baby boys, Joseph fled to Egypt with his wife and our newborn Savior.
“Could you give a gift this Christmas to feed faithful Christian families, including many widows and orphaned children? Be the unknown Christian, far away, who amazed them by sending help in their time of greatest need.”
Please pray. Especially, lift up in your prayers the children, many fatherless, who have witnessed traumatic violence and learned at a tender age the reality of suffering. Ask that their faith will be steadfast as they trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to protect and keep them.
The ministry says: “On behalf of all the Christian victims of persecution your gift will help, thank you in advance for your valuable support.
“We are thankful for our faithful supporters. If you have recently sent a gift to Barnabas Aid please do not feel under pressure to give again, but do remember the needs of Christians in this appeal in your prayers”
If you prefer to send a check by mail: Click this link https://barnabasfund.org/us/about/contact-us?utm_source=BF+NEWS+US&utm_campaign=3493a500b7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_11_14_12_29_COPY_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b27f341ff7-3493a500b7-152425333 for the address of their regional office. Please quote project reference 00-636 Feeding Fund.
If you prefer to telephone, call: (703) 288-1681.
The author of this story, Michael Ireland, is a self-supported media missionary with ANS. Click here to support him as a missionary journalist.