Suffering Nigeria

Suffering Nigeria
by Martha Voet, Registered Nurse
Most of humankind is struggling for life and trying to survive. One third of the world is rich by comparison. Sometimes we are disappointed during our holidays, because it has been raining all the time and the hotel or the food was not nice. On the other hand dependence gives us gratitude, because everything is not taken for granted as we sometimes think it is. There is still a lot of suffering in this world and sometimes it is good shed some light on a problem we are confronted with.
Mostly news items pass by quickly, because we do not want or we cannot comprehend the situation. But what about this article in a newspaper: “Man in Nigeria saves the food of his wife.”The famine in Nigeria gets worse because a lot of man withhold the food of their wives. The British paper “The Independent” reported this. The relieve organisations are busy to distribute food parcels. By withholding the food parcels by the man, the most needy, like the women and the children, are staying undernourished.
Relieve organisations report that some husbands sell part of the food parcels at a profit. What a tragedy carries this newspaper article on a small and on a large scale. On a large scale the world has responded too late on the famine in Nigeria. The plaque of the locusts, which destroyed the crops, caused this famine. But on a small scale I see a woman, with her undernourished child on her lap, sitting in front of her mud hut.
She is waiting for the things, which are not going to happen. Maybe she has high hopes, that her husband will soon arrive with a food parcel of the relieve organisation. Herself does not have to eat. The only thing she wants is food for her child. There is a complete lack of social or medical services. For many people aid comes too late, also for her child. The only thing she can do is to wrap the child in some dirty cloths and dig a grave for her and bury her.
This is a complete world of difference with our world and our holiday stories. It is easy for us to judge this man and say that he could have sold his own food parcel instead of the food parcel of his wife so that he was able to give the food to his wife and children. He kept the food parcel for himself and even made profit to sell the food parcel of his wife. What drove him to this act?
Fortunately this is not always the case. There are also other organisations like Open Doors, who supply help so that women can survive. Like support to Nakub, a Nigerian woman. Victim of a massacre by Islamic activist Muslims. Her husband and their 3-year son and her brother got killed. She has to survive without money, while she has to care for her five other children.The last few years more than 1.200 women in Nigeria became a widow as a result of the violence to try to convert the country to the Islam.
Open Doors supply almost 3.700 women and children with food, clothing and money. With this money they can buy a piece of land to grow their crops. They also supply them with bibles and give trauma help to learn to cope with the horrors of war. The women support each other and pray together and share about the bible with non-believers.
It is good to see that this relieve aid makes a difference.
In the Torah we read that we have to look after widows and orphans. And I John 3:17 it says: “If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God?”