Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, October, 2015

posted Oct 3, 2015, 2:30 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Oct 3, 2015, 2:30 PM ]
Walking To Defeat Hunger
    For most of us, food security is simply a given. We just go to the grocery store and get what we need. Yet families in rural developing nations are dependent on what they can grow. CROP Hunger Walks help rural communities, especially women, to expand their ability to have sustainable access to food.

    With help from CROP Hunger Walks a family in the Rio Coco region of Nicaragua learned innovative agricultural techniques, added new vegetables and fruits to their garden, began raising chickens and sheep, and learned how to farm despite drought.

    Now, this family shows other families what has been learned about crop diversity, soil preservation, irrigation systems and organic fertilizers and pesticides.

    The water we use in developed countries is for the most part readily available. For many in this world though, to access water means an average walk of 3.4 miles. More than 140 million hours are spent every day by mostly women and children to collect water. The lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, IBM, UPS, Target and Kroger.

    Not only is water at the tip of our fingers, but it is clean. One in six people in our world do not have access to water as clean as the water in our toilets. The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of all sickness in the world is attributable to unsafe water and sanitation. In fact, children are dying from unclean water and sanitation at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.

    If you walk in a CROP Hunger Walk, you can help change this reality. You can change lives by providing clean water systems closer to communities in need. Families will be healthier. Women and children will be able to do more with their time, like going to school, farming and other beneficial work.

    The CROP Hunger Walks have changed, and continue to change, many lives for the better. Twenty-five percent of the money we raise here locally comes back to help our local food banks such as the one operated in our community by CVCCS – Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services.

    The rest is divided according to need to assist in refugee resettlement, emergency relief, nutrition improvement, and a multitude of projects for the eradication of hunger and promotion of peace and justice.

    Whenever people are hungry, or a community lacks access to clean water, or the livelihood of folks is at risk – whether by virtue of a devastating storm or climate disaster, civil conflict or open warfare, the erosion of human rights or the plight of displaced communities – such as we see now in refugees fleeing from Syria, CWS (Church World Service) the sponsoring agency of the CROP Hunger Walks, asks this one basic question: “What can we do to help our neighbors in need? Then they get busy working.

    The task is much more challenging and the problems are a lot larger than any one agency alone can successfully handle, so CWS partners with grassroots organizations around the world, providing the capacity to serve in some of the most difficult places and often under dangerous circumstances.

    This year the date for the CROP Walk is Sunday, October 18. You have an opportunity to help improve the quality of life everywhere by walking and/or contributing to CROP. I thank you in advance for whatever you choose to do on behalf of the poor and hungry throughout the world.

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries