Count your blessing: Friday 20 February
By Rev Ian Alexander, Council secretary of World Mission Council.
Give us this day our daily bread
The conflict in South Sudan has forced millions of people to flee from their homes, either to family or friends, or to other parts of the country, or to neighbouring countries, or into camps. Having fled, crops cannot be harvested or new ones planted for the future; herds cannot be tended or taken to fresh grazing: food insecurity is now prevalent in the conflict areas. United Nations and church agencies are helping, but with only one paved road in the whole country the six month rainy season causes havoc with food delivery, and using planes is hugely expensive.
Christian Aid's Partner UNIPO has been trying out a different approach in South Sudan. Where possible, it is distributing vouchers to allow families to buy food themselves. As well as helping the recipients to maintain their human dignity through giving them freedom and choice to buy the kind of food they prefer, or even to use the vouchers to buy other household essentials, such as medicine, it also supports local shops and businesses.
Rev Ian Alexander.
The heartlands of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan are exactly where the conflict is at its most terrible. "Give us this day our daily bread" is a heartfelt plea every day for people whose lives have been turned upside down by conflict over the past 14 months. Thanks be to God for the work of the local Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency, for Christian Aid, and all the other bodies, who are working to support the people of South Sudan to enable them to survive the conflict, by helping with daily bread, but also as they seek opportunities to build trust and reconciliation for a peaceable future.
Communities often go without enough food because they have a bad harvest and don’t have the luxury of a supermarket to top up their supplies.
Give 20p for everything you eat or drink today that is produced outside the British Isles.