Reflection for Christian Aid Week
Today’s reflection is from one for Christian Aid Week, which begins today. It’s published with the people of Zimbabwe in mind as their already challenging circumstances are made even worse by the ongoing global tensions. One answer is seeds that grow well despite drought conditions and, as we read what follows, perhaps we are more fortunate than we realise?
With my prayers; pob bendith,
We have all seen the news of the devastating war in Ukraine. We’ve heard heartbreaking stories of people fleeing violence, not knowing when they’ll see their loved ones again. In Zimbabwe, another crisis – the climate crisis – is causing aching hunger for families who already struggle to find food. Even though it’s 7,000 miles away, the war in Ukraine will drive up food prices in Zimbabwe and around the globe. Ukraine and Russia produce large amounts of the world’s fertiliser and food, like wheat and cooking oil. Without them, vulnerable families will be pushed even deeper into hunger.
Are you hungry? What’s for dinner tonight? Maybe you’re looking forward to fish and chips, pasta, or your favourite family meal around the table. Jessica Mwedzi, a loving mum in Zimbabwe, fears her family won’t eat tonight. When food is scarce, she can only give her children one bowl of porridge a day. She shares her heartbreak: ‘My children crave a decent meal, but I can’t provide. It pains me to send them to bed hungry.’
For Jessica, drought means every day is a struggle for survival. Like many women in Zimbabwe, she toils on her farm, but no food can grow on her ashen dry land. ‘One year, we had no rain. The scorching sun burnt my crops just as they were about to bloom. It was so painful and disheartening.’
It’s unjust that drought robs Jessica of the power to provide for her family. Her husband is unwell, so she is the only breadwinner. She says: ‘Women are at the mercy of climate change and hunger.’ Once before, when things were desperate, Jessica asked her neighbours for food. But she came home with nothing. Jessica is hungry. Hungry for a good meal. Hungry to earn a decent living. Hungry to provide a more hopeful future for her family.
Christian Aid Is helping Jessica grow seeds that thrive in the drought. In the months to come, she’ll turn these seeds into fresh food like tomatoes, beans and cucumbers to sell and feed her family. She’ll have the joy of seeing her children grow up happy and healthy. Jessica’s love for her family gives her courage to stand strong against the threat of drought. ‘My children give me the power to go ahead,’ she says. ‘I pray they have a better future.’
This Christian Aid Week, as you sit down to eat your favourite family meal around the table, please pray for Jessica and her family – may families like hers find that action brings hope to people facing disaster, from conflict to climate chaos. This Christian Aid Week, we celebrate and share hope with our sisters and brothers facing crisis around the world, from Ukraine to Zimbabwe.
May that hope be fulfilled.