Food troubles are here to stay

Another dimension of Israel. It’s hard to grasp the extent to which oil is a part of our lives until the reality starts to hit us in the face and pocketbooks. And even then, some of us still don’t grasp it, or don’t care because they’re fine now.

Christians, let’s use our greatest resource – the church – to start addressing some of the problems people – whether the average American, or those in Haiti or Indonesia or Israel – are running into and try our best to raise awareness and develop plans of action, because they’re going to get worse.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/980076.html

The government sends calming signals and says no dramatic shortages are expected. The Economist says do nothing, market forces will sort it all out. But as the global food-price crisis hit Israel this week, something told us we are not being told the whole story.

Around the world food prices are soaring. Since January 2006, the price of rice has risen by 217 percent. Wheat, corn and soybean prices have more than doubled, and in several countries, milk and meat prices have also doubled.

Food prices and falling wages have sparked riots in more than 30 countries from Bangladesh to Egypt to Haiti – where the prices of rice, beans, fruit and condensed milk have gone up 50 percent over a few months, while the price of fuel has tripled.

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Tsunami rebuilding is largely a failure

This post will be serving as a complement to a future post I’ll be doing on the failure of foreign aid. That’s right. So if you think your almsgiving has been helping people, think again. It might just have been funnelled to a terrorist agency, who knows.

The point is, don’t give blindly. Look at the financial breakdown of agencies you’re prospectively giving to in order to avoid scams (see Steve Irwin scam). Also, especially for churches – if your church is planning on building a multimillion-dollar new structure to incorporate new bells and whistles, while the main complex has proven to be relatively structurally sound, don’t go building it. If you really want to renew your city and impact the world, start a homeless sponsorship program or support a native missionary!

(BTW for you non-Christian readers, I’m going to argue a thesis that sponsorship of native-missionaries is becoming more effective as a medium for positive social change than traditional means).

The purchasing power of the US dollar in undeveloped countries could mean the difference between your sponsorship of Bill Missionary on a 6-week term from the US vs. support of Rajasekhar, Khagendra, Shen, and 16 others like them full-time and year-round, willing to risk all for Jesus.

Which is the better “investment”?

http://tinyurl.com/hd75d

Associated Press

Originally published September 24, 2006

The tsunami of 2004 triggered the biggest humanitarian response in history, feeding the hungry, heading off epidemics and engendering the hope that out of a calamity that took 216,000 lives, a better Indian Ocean rim would emerge.

But 18 months later recriminations are rife, with aid agencies standing accused of planning poorly, raising unrealistic expectations and simply being incompetent.

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