Darfur crisis getting worse, Christians stand firm

By July 31, 2007

Sudan (MNN) — The humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan is getting worse. Violence, displacement and uncertainty is growing. This crisis was one of the topics of discussion between the new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and U.S. President George W. Bush.

According to World Vision's Rose Kimeu, "The situation is desperate. It is worse than it has ever been before. I recently visited four camps that I had visited last year, and this time the camps are full and they've reached a point where they just can't take in more people. The fighting is ongoing."

World Vision is taking action, says Kimeu. "World Vision has had to expand our food distribution sites. Last year we were distributing in 22 sites, but this year we've increased the number to 38 just to accommodate the new influx of people."

Kimue says the stories are just heartbreaking. "They grab their children, and they run for their lives. As they are running, they're basically trying to find transportation, which is usually a truck that will deliver them from their village to the displaced people camp."

Many women and children walk for days to find these vehicles.

Kimue has worked in many areas of Africa during her career and says this is the worst situation she's ever seen. "What makes it worse is that it is not ending. It is ongoing. Every day people are getting displaced; more people are dying, and the worst part of it is that the people who are most affected are women and children who are innocent. They've just got caught up in the fighting."

Kimue put the humanitarian disaster in perspective. "We estimate that at least four million people are in desperate need of humanitarian support. They're in need of either food support, water, health service, or nutritious food for the children. And then, we have two million that have been forced to flee for their lives, and that number is increasing. So far we know that at least 200,000 people have died."

As Christians, Kimue says, they're committed to helping in Darfur. "We are grateful that God has given us the opportunity to be able to show the people of Darfur the love of Christ. Every day our staff risks their lives as they go out to the community. We've had many attacks on our cars and on our staff."

World Vision has no intention of leaving Darfur. And that commitment is a great testimony to these victims. Kimeu says, "We ourselves are the hands and feet of Jesus. We really urge the listeners to pray for us and to pray for our staff that God would protect them, that God will enable them to show the love of Jesus through what they do."

Funding is also needed to help World Vision continue the work in Darfur. "Every donation can help save a life," says Kimeu. "We've been able to provide humanitarian support to about a half-million people every month, and this is made possible because of generous donations we receive." However the need is much greater.

If you'd like to help the people of Darfur, click here.

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