Ethiopia (MNN) — More than 10 million people are being affected by the worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa. The U.N. is now calling the situation a famine.
Some of the hardest-hit areas include Ethiopia and Somalia. Steve Wile, Canada President of WorldServe Ministries, puts it in perspective. "In this particular area, there are likely five million people who are living in a food insecure area. They're in an emergency situation, or they're in a crisis situation."
The local church wants to be involved, says Wile. "It's primarily a Muslim area. Our partner has a lot of churches in the area, but they are certainly a minority in a Muslim majority area."
However, these are nominal Muslims, says Wile. "We don't see a lot of the radical Islam fundamentalists in the area, so the people are open to spiritual conversation and are interested in talking about the God of the Christians."
As the drought continues to worsen, Wile says, "What the church wants to do is make the local church the hub, then to reach out to meet the needs in the community. They want to provide food [and water] in the context of their neighborhood. They want to be a witness for Christ."
According to Wile, that's the main focus of the church. "Our partners are so committed to sharing the love of Christ. In some ways, we can be put to shame because of the commitment they have to share the Gospel."
The goal is to make the church more influential and relevant in the community, giving them a platform to share the hope of Christ.
Wile says they can't do it on their own: they don't have the money. "We're looking to raise funds so that the church can provide the resources."