Starving for Hope

How Meals Open the Door to Eternal Hope

By Amanda DeWitt

Across the Horn of Africa, famine looms — again.

Just scan news headlines, and you will see that hunger haunts the region, hunting down entire communities throughout the Horn of Africa every few years.

In one country in the area, more than 5 million people will soon require help to meet their nutritional needs to survive. The country has faced over half a dozen periods of food insecurity in four decades. People are hungry once again. They are also weary.

But they are not alone. Around the world more than 800 million people struggle to find enough food.

A United Community

In nearby Uganda people from South Sudan seek safety and a fresh start. Currently there are roughly 1 million refugees living in Uganda; most have fled the trauma of civil war.

But life still is not easy in their new country. Many of the South Sundanese refugees living in Uganda struggle to find food and hope. Recently 980 refugee families, along with prison inmates, orphans, and university students, received meals from Unto®. They were so grateful for the nourishment they need to survive.

After the meal distribution, many of the refugees who once struggled with bitterness toward other groups began to experience reconciliation and forgiveness. The kindness of Jesus softened their hearts and began the healing process. When the eternal hope of Jesus was shared, 235 people responded and 89 joined a discipleship group. Amidst hunger, war, and strife, these refugees now have a brighter future filled with hope.

A Cup of Cold Water

When you consider world hunger, and the 800 million people who struggle to find enough food, it feels like we can do so little. Yet Jesus reminds us that small things matter. Look at His words in Matthew 25:37-40:

 Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.”

Whenever we take the time to express kindness to those who are hurting — when we offer them a cup of cold water or nourishing food — we are also offering that same kindness to Jesus. Such acts, however small, restore dignity and ultimately reveal hope.

We may not be able to end world hunger today, but we can each do something. And that small act — whether it be for a neighbor or someone around the world — might just change their life.

Published October 10, 2019


Amanda is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Gift for Leadership, Kindred Spirit, and Christianity Today publications. She holds a M.A. in Media and Communication from Dallas Theological Seminary.