So this is my new blog. Sorry to both of my readers/parents that it was down the better part of last week. But it’s up and running now, and in this new format I should be able to both write more post, and respond to comments faster. So special thanks to Matt Pinson and Todd Ramsey for all the help over the past week in launching this.
But getting this blog also got me thinking on the nature of web-based communication. What makes me think it’s worth the time it takes to do this, and what good can come out of it? Because if I’m going to do something like this I’d like to leverage it for some Kingdom purposes. Which for me looks like this.
For the longest time I’ve heard about a guy named Mark Moore. We had both graduated from the same school in Arkansas (although he did a few years earlier than me). We both had been mentored by similar people, and had a lot of mutual friends. And everyone who I spoke to about Mark said the same thing, “there’s a guy who’s going to change the world.”
And they were right.
I met Mark for the first time a couple of months ago. Since then we’ve met a few more times and after each conversation I walk away thinking, “This is possible. We can do something about the state of current world affairs.” And so can you.
About a sixth of the global population deal with poverty and malnutrition. And the worst form of that is severe acute malnutrition. Now you’ve probably heard the statistics about this before. Every 3-4 seconds someone dies of starvation, and the overwhelming majority are children.
But I’ve never heard anyone say before that it doesn’t have to be like this.
Mark is spearheading a non-profit called MANA, or Mother’s Administered Nutritive Aid and the main goal of MANA is to stop people dying from severe acute malnutrition. And it’s got a chance to work. See MANA is a low cost peanut based paste that is high in calories and low in cost. It’s like Peanut Butter on steroids. It’s filled with vitamins and nutrients that can help back a starving child off of the cliff. It’s been called by experts a miracle food. Which is to say this is a bit more potent than JIF.
See before this paste the way that people helped starving kids was by putting them in a hospital, pumping them full with all the vitamins and food their body could handle. But it would take weeks to get their bodies back to some normal state, which took precious resources like hospital beds and medicine. And everyone knew in no time at all they would probably be back.
But with MANA it’s different. If a child eats MANA for 4-6 weeks, studies have shown that not only will they be helped immediately, but for the most part their bodies are in a place that can help them fend of starvation in the future.
It works like this. Since most of the malnutrition deaths occur among children, Field Doctors diagnose whether or not a kid is in trouble and then we distribute this miracle food to the mothers. Operating on the basic human reality that Mothers love their children, MANA gives the food to the moms of the malnourished kids, allowing them to care for their children with resources that can actually save their lives.
There are a couple of other similar products out there. But MANA is the only one that is a non-profit. They’re not trying to make money, their sole goal is to try and save lives. But since it’s not a business it operates off of donations. MANA has been working with UNICEF and several of the most influential church leaders in America to get this project off the ground. And that’s where you come in.
This is a great resource that can actually change things, but it needs money. It needs people with influence to talk about it to people with influence. Maybe you’re a church leader, a deacon, a shepherd or a church member who cares deeply about social justice and just don’t know where to start. Check out their website or their facebook page then get the word out. Donate your Facebook or Twitter status, write a blog or make a phone call.
This thing has got a real chance to make a difference, it just needs a tipping point.
If there’s one thing we know about God, it’s that He cares for the least of these, the people who are on the margins, the ones without any resources, and in the words of James’ this is the kind of stuff true religion always points toward. The truth is, I think God’s doing something here. I don’t think it was ever his intention for children to die from lack of food, and one way or another God is going to be active in feeding these children.
But the question is will we partner with Him in doing it.