Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, October, 2016

posted Sep 30, 2016, 2:35 PM by Lois Kerchner

Helping the Neighbor in Need


I find it alarming that in 2016, there are more people displaced from their homes by violence and strife than at any time within the last 70 years. The global community is struggling daily with how to meet the needs of those forced to leave home by devastation and catastrophe around the world. Church World Service originated as an effort to combat the problems resulting from major conflict during WWII. Millions of lives have been impacted positively over the years as CWS has carried out its mission to eradicate hunger and poverty along with the promotion of peace and justice. Unfortunately, the need is just as great now as ever.


Whenever people are hungry, or a community lacks access to clean water, or folks' livelihood is at risk – whether by virtue of civil conflict or open warfare, a devastating storm or climate disaster, the erosion of human rights or the plight of displaced communities – such as we see happening 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.


Do you realize that among the people in our world one out of every six lacks 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.


The water we use in developed countries is for the most part readily available. For many in this world though, to access water for everyday use 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.


By your walking in our local CROP Hunger Walk, you can help change the world. 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.


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.


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 dire and dangerous circumstances.

This year the date for the CROP Walk is Sunday, October 16. 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.

Pastor George Weaver