Faith and Food security
Whenever we talk of security, the mind of most people quickly jump on the bow and arrow, or the gun and bullet or simply a sword in the hand. There are such invisible kinds of insecurity, that have always contributed to the use of a sword and most people in most communities. Spiritual insecurity and Food Insecurity have for a long time not been talked about. Spiritual insecurity seems to be the major cause of a world that we see as insane. A poor connection of humanity with their creator – God, has created a wondering rebellious mind leading to war instead of peace. Something must have gone wrong. We seem to lack spiritual security, and we resort to resentment and war.
Food insecurity is currently a threat in most places around the world. With the current change in climate, it’s true that the land is not producing enough in some places around the world. In Uganda where we serve, a number of people survive on a single meal a day, others have gone as far as eating wild ants, where as other parents just boiled water for their children to warm their stomachs. A number of people have died as a result of this threat. Food insecurity is not new. It was there even in the times of the Patriarchs. There were times when food was completely scarce in the region. In the Bible, it’s reported that Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to go and collect grains (food) for the family. Genesis 42. There was severe famine in the region. Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt and Jacob said to his sons, “why are you staring at one another?” He said, behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from that place, so that we may live and not die” Genesis; 42:1-2.
How did God rescue people during such times?
God had revealed to Joseph that, there would be famine for a time in the region for reasons not revealed. This revelation was very important because God wanted His children not to suffer of hunger. The revelation came at a time when Egypt had food in plenty in other words, God knew at that time, food was enough to keep the Egyptians, and perhaps the Children of Israel for a time until the drought was over or until the next harvest. The Egyptians by the grace of God under the guidance of one man Joseph were able to stock and pile as much grain as they could. This is the greatest RESCUE MISSION which God himself planned. In other words, there was war of “draught”. Food insecurity can be worse than insecurity caused by a gun.
Another interesting rescue mission and teaching is in the book of 1Kings 17:6-16. It is very interesting seeing the ravens bringing food to Elijah to get some extra energy. “The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook”.
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” In verse 7, of this chapter, it shows there was no rain in the entire region “The brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.” Latter we see there are those who still had at least something to eat.- the widow still had some floor left. God rescues His people from great calamities. This shows; God is very, very careful about food security perhaps for the following reasons;
- For the well being of His people
- For His work to continue. His people although do not live on bread alone, need some physical energy to go long distances.
Many other examples are shown in the Bible where food was scarce at some times of the year.
How does Jesus treat the hungry during His ministry on earth?
(Please read the text below without mixing it with the great power of fasting. Fasting is very important on your journey of faith. You cant do away with it.)
Jesus feeds the five thousand men, He had healed them of their diseases and pains, He had cast demons out of them, He had compassion over them and yet he says to His disciples, “You give them something to eat” Matthew 14;13-21. He did not just tell his disciples, Jesus Himself provided for the people. He prayed and the little food was enough to feed all the five thousand men.
The bible shows many times where water was very important to the lives of people. People treasured those places with good supply of water for themselves and their livestock. This is a very good example of how we ought to treat God’s natural gifts with lots of respect and love. Do you remember Jesus and the words of the Samaritan woman at the well? The woman asked Him “Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” John 4:12
In the New Testament, Jesus shows how food is a free gift to a human being. In Matthew 25:35, 25:40, Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you have me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me… Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me.”
I strongly say, the Church is the right institution to show people the importance of food security not only just having enough food to eat, but also choosing the right sorts of food to nourish your body. Therefore, in our own communities, wherever you have been called, it’s your responsibility to ensure that everyone has sufficient, healthy and appropriate food.
What happened? Where did we go astray?
Whereas we cannot completely make things new (Only God can reverse this condition). The Church is the best institution on earth to alleviate this condition. God will use the Church to fight food insecurity and everything will come back to normal, we will see green once again. We can take a look at how human activities that have contributed much to climate Change leading to poor weather patterns (a kin look at Africa)
- Deforestation (Over cutting trees for construction and charcoal). Trees contribute a lot towards rain formation and creating a good air cover.
- Land reclamation (Drainage of swamps). Humanity have slowly been encroaching on swamps turning them into agricultural and settlement fields. There is a big reason God allowed land to be hills, valleys, swamps and mountains.
- Poor farming methods (including exposing soils to direct sun rays and escape of useful air from the soils into the atmosphere
- Poor land use (quarrying)
There are those factors which do not directly affect the climate, but indirectly have contributed to food insecurity.
- Ever increasing population ( Life is a gift from God, so how have we handled our lives to make this world a better place for others who will come after us? Land size remains constant. Human size keeps increasing. What should we do?)
- Poor post harvesting handling of food (wastage of food after it has been harvested)
- Poor eating habits. (This is what most people do not know is a secret food insecurity)
What Our Church is doing to Alleviate food insecurity
Teaching people on better farming methods to increase on their farm yields. Farming the way God desired it. We focus on telling people beginning with our Church members to restore soil so as to make it good and capable of producing better crops. Over exposing soil leaving it bare is one big risk that has reduced it’s productivity. We do this by practically visiting member’s farms.
We also teach our population good post harvest methods. A lot of food is wasted in a number of villages during heavy harvest seasons. But this food is completely in scarce a few weeks just after the harvest. A lot is wasted, and it can’t come back. What if we handled it well and kept it for a few more months until the next season? great idea!
Nutrition is a very important aspect of food security. We teach people about the values in food, the healing power -miracle in eating the right sorts of food. Eating the way god desired it at creation.
You are the right person to alleviate the current food insecurity situation. You are the right person because you are capable, and you believe in God, His working Power, and His son Jesus Christ. You have a role to make this world a better place to live in for future generations.
Would you like to volunteer with us?
Do you have any questions on what you have read?