Received from Bishop Akyoo, Diocese of Meru, ELCT

July 26, 2011

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Re: Appeal for hunger relief

Probably you have already received from different parishes of Meru appeals for assistance on food Aid.

It is very sad that this year again we are facing a critical food shortage in Meru. People worked very hard and planted crops on time, but as we are depending on rain, rains were not only unpredictable, but also insufficient. Crops germinated and were weeded, unfortunately at the flowering stage, rains stopped and we have no harvest in more than 3/4 of the Meru area.

Where irrigation is possible, we have pockets of food which is not even enough as water levels have gone down due to lack of rain.

Markets prices of maize now ranges between 50-75$/100kg sack, beans as thrice as much. Normally this time of the year, maize is sold at 15-20$/100kg.Very few people can afford to but food this year.

In Kenya also, and the rest of the Northern Parts of Tanzania situation is worse.

Since a few people are harvesting now, we pray that if we can get some assistance we will buy some maize and distribute. The most affected parts are the Northern, some of the Eastern District and the southern District. Central and Western district as well because they depend on the plains to grow maize and beans.

On behalf of the people of Meru we request you our sisters and brothers to help us again this year. We know that you are working very hard to help us, and we thank God always for your tireless support.

May God help us as we grow in partnership, to overcome the setbacks which are beyond our control together.

Peace and Grace to you all
Bishop Paulo I. Akyoo


Letter from Bishop Jeff

August 9, 2011

Dear People of the Greater Milwaukee Synod:

Just a couple of weeks ago as I was pondering the text from Matthew about Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, I received an urgent request for assistance from Bishop Paulo Akyoo from the Meru Diocese in Tanzania. It has stuck with me ever since.

Jesus bid the disciples to feed the masses even though they only had five loaves and two fish with which to do so. This story fits the church and the world in which we live. There is so much need, so much worry about how to feed others.

For our brothers and sisters in Tanzania, the feeding of the multitudes is not simply a teaching parable. It is a day to day struggle. The drought which has severely affected Somalia and Kenya is also present in Tanzania. The price of food has soared and the crops are a total failure in many parts of Tanzania.

These are our brothers and sisters in Christ, partners in mission who are part of the family. In my mind it is not a question of whether we choose to help. It is a matter of our faithfulness, a matter of believing that God can do more than we think.

As often happens, the people most intimately connected to our partners in Tanzania are willing to take the lead. The Meru Committee has authorized $5,000 from its general fund to be immediately released to feed hungry people. People at Adoration Lutheran Church in Greenfield, Fox Point Lutheran Church in Fox Point, Vernon Lutheran Church in Mukwonago began to offer assistance as soon as they heard about the drought. I invite us all to join hands by offering our support to our global partners.

Together we believe that God makes miracles when we least expect them.

In Christ,
The Rev. Jeff Barrow
Bishop

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