Where Does Humanitarian Action Begin?
Hurricanes. Mudslides. Earthquakes. Unrelenting conflict. The year 2017 bore witness to all these and more. It might appear that humanitarian action — aiding victims and assisting with cleanup efforts — will never end. The amount of work needed is mind boggling. Almost paralyzing. We ask ourselves, “Can any one person even make a difference?”
Assuming we can scratch the surface, where do we begin? Understanding the reasons behind the need is a good place to start. Geopolitical factors, environmental conditions, economic situations, and a thousand other issues have blended together over the centuries to create this global scene. Words and data fall short to truly quantify the problem — the true extent is best understood when considered in terms of how these situations affect people. One by one, story by story, people just like us all around the world have had their lives disrupted and now need basic necessities. They desire the dignity they once had and are looking for hope that someday their life will be better.
At Unto™ we help you express the kindness of Jesus in the toughest places on earth by relieving suffering, restoring dignity, and revealing hope. This is our mission.
Why? Because we believe there is One who does see it all. One who knows it all, from beginning to end, from the most expansive big-picture heights to the most intimate, seemingly-insignificant depths. So, from our perspective, that’s where “Humanitarian 101” begins: not with what humans are able or duty-bound to do, but with who God is, and with what He is doing already.
This is good news, because our chaotic and unpredictable world does not need strategic reshaping or fixing according to human standards. It needs something far more invasive, and far more beautiful. It needs true and certain hope.
Partnership is Key
With the prayer and support of partners and volunteers, we come alongside in-country field team members all over the world to provide humanitarian assistance and coaching that helps them gain access, build credibility, and increase effectiveness in ministry. With these tools our field staff members can focus on and excel at the work to which they are called.
In a world of disaster and conflict, much of our work is response-oriented. We stand at-the-ready — to to take humanitarian action however necessary, whenever necessary. But we also strategically serve the needs of people in the toughest places on earth through three programs: food and agriculture, clean water, and critical aid. We do things like provide emergency food to people living in the midst of famine or war. We help build solar-powered wells and assist villages in constructing and cultivating drip-irrigated gardens. We send custom-built loads of critical aid for refugees.
Whether serving others when devastating events occur or helping those in a developing country, human nature asks, “Where is God in this suffering?” God is at work through each of us as we do our part to care for the afflicted in the name of Jesus. Our goal is not just to relieve suffering and restore dignity, but ultimately to reveal the hope of Jesus, so people enduring the effects of disaster, conflict, and poverty will know that beneath the seeming chaos of our world rests unshakeable bedrock.
Published April 6, 2018