Trent Parker

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Africa famine & unrest: ‘disaster on a disaster’

MOGADISHU, Somalia (BP)--"Me and my nation against the world, me and my clan against the nation, me and my family against the clan, me and my brother against the family, me against my brother." This ancient Somali proverb sheds light into the mindset of a fiercely independent culture. However, Somalia's independent spirit has been shaken: Miniscule rainfall in two consecutive rainy seasons has triggered the worst drought the Horn of Africa has faced in 60 years. More than half of Somalia's population -- roughly 3.7 million people, including 400,000 children -- is at risk as Somalia enters the fourth month of a devastating famine. The famine, coupled with military unrest and anarchy in parts of the country, has complicated the already volatile lives of Somalis. "It's a sort of a disaster on a disaster," said Drew Carson*, a Christian leader among the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East. "[Military unrest] doesn't help mitigate the heartbreaking situation that millions of children are in." Some militant groups -- like Al-Shabab -- are taking measures to block foreign aid from being distributed and are denying Somali people the right to leave the country. Even so, humanitarian organizations such as Baptist Global Response, the Red Cross and UNICEF as well as many nations are providing funding to help with famine relief although access into the heart of the famine area is restricted by security concerns and remote, hard-to-reach locations. Southern Baptists are supporting two feeding sites in the Horn of Africa and assessments are underway in one other location. Funding for the initiative comes through the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. "Humanitarian partners on the ground are saying the people are very responsive to the expressions of God's love they are seeing and hearing," said Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response. "But the scope of this crisis is enormous and rooted in long-term environmental and social problems." Famine in the Horn of Africa has claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, according to the United Nations. An estimated 12.4 million people are endangered by the crisis, which also has affected Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Djibouti.

In London, IMB workers reach out during riots

LONDON (BP) -- As riots, looting and arson continue to plague urban England, IMB missionaries are looking for ways to minister to those left in the aftermath.

Gridiron Gospel opens doors in Portugal

LISBON, Portugal (BP)--The bright Portuguese sun illuminated the makeshift football field. In the distance, Atlantic waves beat the shore. Players for the Lisbon Crusaders took the field for their pre-game routines, which include, among other things, marking the field's yard lines with sand.       The football field was only a converted soccer pitch, and the crowd only consisted of a few friends and family members.

Johnny Hunt prays Cairo will become ‘major hub’ for spreading of Gospel

CAIRO (BP)--As the situation in Egypt grows more uncertain, pastor Johnny Hunt is challenging Christians in America to pray Egyptians will find freedom of a different kind -- freedom that comes from knowing Christ as Savior. Hunt hopes political reforms in Egypt will result in an environment in which believers can more freely share the Gospel.

Egypt: integral to Christianity’s rise

CAIRO (BP)--Calls for a change in leadership have swelled into demonstrations and violent clashes in Egypt, two weeks after Tunisia's government toppled ...

Gypsies, treated as outcasts, look for hope

BUCHAREST, Romania (BP)–Florin smiles deferentially as the Romanian police officer unleashes a tirade of curses at him in front of the Bucharest airport. “You are the reason for Romania’s bad name!” the policeman yells. “You Gypsies go to France and steal, murder and prostitute yourselves. Now you are our problem again. You are a disgrace!” […]