Displaying items by tag: Barnabas Fund
Barnabas Fund reports, ‘Afghan Christians are at huge risk. As American troops leave the country, Taliban fighters are expanding their area of control, especially in rural areas, and re-imposing their ultra-strict form of sharia as they go. By the end of August the last Americans will have gone, but in mid-July the Taliban already claimed to control 85% of the country. What is certain is that Afghan Christians, as converts from Islam, will be even more vulnerable under Taliban rule than under the Afghan government. The Taliban has publicly announced that Christians must convert, leave, or be killed.'
Locusts move like thick, dark clouds, tearing through parts of East Africa and devouring crop after crop, putting food supplies and farmers’ livelihoods at risk. These invasions aren’t new but they are happening more often than ever. ‘It is because of the change in climate’, said a satellite Information analyst in Nairobi. ‘Locusts that otherwise would have scattered for lack of vegetation to consume can now get lots of it’ Locusts invaded northern Kenya in January, devouring field crops, vegetables, cattle fodder and grazing land. Pray for organisations like Barnabas Fund who are assisting 1,000 vulnerable Christian families in the area. They aim to help subsistence farmers speedily restore their crop and livestock production, distributing seeds, fertiliser and appropriate pesticides to deal with locust eggs left in the soil and the surge in other pests that usually follow a locust swarm.
A little child - a long walk - a rocky road - no shoes - twice a day - five times a week. This is life for thousands of Indonesian Christian children because their parents cannot afford shoes. The more fortunate children have jepit (meaning pinch sandals because they must be gripped by toes). Not easy walking over rough ground, and not healthy for young growing feet. Christians asked Barnabas to provide proper school shoes for them. A local Christian shoe company is providing shoes at a 67% discount. This Christmas the children, who walk every day for miles in bare feet, will receive a gift of school shoes thanks to many generous donations.
Over the years Prayer-Alert has highlighted the plight of Brick-Kiln Workers; but it still goes on. Amanat worked seven days a week in a brick-kiln making 1,000 bricks daily, earning the equivalent of £4.20 that he never saw because it went back to the brick-kiln owner, paying interest on a loan he took out at a time of family crisis. His situation was hopeless. He had to borrow further money to buy food for his children. There are thousands of Pakistani Christian brick-kiln workers like him with debts keeping them bonded to their boss, unable to leave and get another job. Their wage just pays off interest on an impossible debt. They are despised, despairing and trapped bonded slaves. But Amanat got lucky. Barnabas Fund paid off his debt and with nothing being deducted from his wages any more, he can pay for his children’s schooling, or learn a new trade.
Last year’s maize crop failure is still proving debilitating: it takes more than a season to fully recover from the ravages of drought. Although the rains arrived on cue in November last year to plant this season’s crops, many farmers had either been forced to eat their seed, or had no harvest from the previous year to eat. Their livestock herds were decimated and the lack of jobs meant families also had no money to purchase their farming inputs, let alone food. Barnabas Fund has provided seed, fertiliser and training so that farmers could plant on time. Hope has returned, but the crisis still simmers and the outcome of the harvest will be critical. A new strain of stalk-borer insect attacking the maize is also a threat. How can farmers survive until the April/May harvest? Barnabas is working closely with local churches to ensure that they are not forgotten or left hungry during this crucial period. Violet, a farmer and mother of five, is appreciative: ‘We want to thank God for providing us with food for our family - our lives have changed. We have seen God’s hand through our brothers.’