Sydney A. James

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Amid Kenya’s drought, hunger fund feeds thousands

ILMAMEN, Kenya (BP)--The rains come too late for the crops. Cows, selling for about $5, have no meat on their bones. The drought's damage will be fatal for many.       From the Maasai Mara wildlife reserve in Kenya to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania -- about 11,700 square miles -- everyone is hungry.       "The problem is that there is no grass," Bob Calvert says. "There is not enough water, not enough rain. For the past month, as I was waiting on relief supplies to come, I have been cutting grass around Nairobi to take to pastors for their animals to eat."       Calvert, an International Mission Board missionary, lives outside Kenya's capital, Nairobi. He partnered with Baptist Global Response, an international relief and development organization, to deliver nearly $500,000 worth of flour and cooking fat to women between May and July.       The money, provided by Southern Baptists through their World Hunger Fund, was enough to feed 180,000 people for one month -- at a cost of $2.70 each.       "Pastors started coming to me in November of last year to tell me that they needed food," Calvert recounts. "I told them to start collecting names of those who needed the food immediately -- women, orphans, old men, those with no other income."       Pastors in 238 churches collected the names of 29,280 women whose families need food. The reason for identifying the need through women is that some men have as many as four wives. This way each woman can feed her children.       Baptist Global Response worked with Calvert to develop a strategy for providing staple foods to people suffering in Kenya's Rift Valley area.       "Cyclical hunger in Africa is a fact of life," says Mark Hatfield who with his wife Susan directs Baptist Global Response work in Sub-Saharan Africa. "Environmental changes, in association with land use methods that have degraded the environment, along with a series of very poor rainy seasons, brought about this need for assistance."       Each woman received 12 five-pound bags of flour and one tub of cooking fat. While the distribution will stave off hunger for a month, it will be six months before families will have an opportunity to plant new crops.

Still alive, Samburu give thanks to God

SAMBURU, Kenya (BP)--The women danced and sang, thanking God for the food that kept their families alive for a while longer.       The food, delivered by Charlie Daniels, a Southern Baptist missionary in southern Kenya, literally kept these women and their families from starving to death.