Believers working to prevent disaster in Chad

By June 26, 2007

(MNN) — Darfur's troubles mean an unfolding emergency situation in Eastern Chad. In
some regions, the population is densely packed (about 40,000 people in a ten
kilometer area), which magnifies the humanitarian crisis. 

Food For The Hungry's Sara Sywulka spoke with us from a
refugee camp in Gozbeida (gohz-baydah), Chad,
about 90 kilometers from the eastern border with Sudan. Until recently, the
assistance provided by many organizations in Chad
focused on refugees arriving from Darfur. The IDP population was neglected.

Sywulka says they've chosen Gozbeida because their needs
assessment showed that the people in this area had ongoing unmet needs. "We're building some infrastructure,
paying the Internally Displaced People so that they can earn some income while
they are in their displacement, but at the same time, build this infrastructure
that will remain here and help replenish the water table as well as providing
some water for them to cultivate in the dry season."

That boils down to farming and rain water harvesting. There are medical needs, too. The United Nations predicts there will be an
increase in malaria cases and epidemic diarrheal diseases during the rainy
season, which starts at the end of this month.

Food for the Hungry seeks a vision of community. They partner with churches, leaders and
families in overcoming human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God
and His creation.

Sywulka says the ministry aspect can be tricky in a
predominantly Muslim area. They share their faith, she says, often not by what
they say but by how they live. "We
make sure that we are acting in such a way that reflects Christ's love. Should opportunities arise, especially if people are asking us questions, then
that opens the door for us to share the reason for our faith." Click here if you can help .

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