THE CALL—January/February/March 2015
The Blessing of Rice
Benji Jenkins, Missionary, Papua New Guinea
The Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea is used to getting over 200 inches of rain each year. However, during July 2014, we received even heavier rains than usual. Fourteen inches of rain fell in just one week, and the rain continued for a couple of weeks after that. The rivers swelled and flooded over roads, gardens, houses, and churches. Some roads were so flooded people used canoes to cross to the other side. Houses and churches were completely under water. Gardens flooded, leaving people with no source of income or food.
The rain eventually slowed and the water went down, but a lot of people were left with no way to get food. The people of the Southern Highlands in PNG live off of what their gardens produce. Everything they eat comes from their gardens. They sell any extra produce at the market for a little bit of income. But due to the flood damage, the gardens couldn’t produce again for several months. The people searched everywhere for food.
Christians began praying for God to help them. One pastor said, “God heard our prayer and sent the mission to help us.”
World Gospel Mission responded to this need by immediately sending some money from the President’s Crisis Relief Fund to the missionaries in PNG who then worked with the Christian Union Church leaders to distribute it. In most areas, the money was used to buy rice, which each local church received to distribute. Many of the churches purchased more rice to add to the supplies and then passed it out to the community. As a result of this, many unbelievers are now starting to attend church.
The people of the Southern Highlands had a rough few months until their gardens started growing again. But as one pastor stated, “We are not going to starve. We will not have to eat the roots of the banana trees.” Across the province, people are praising God for the “blessing of the rice!”
Those who have generously given to the President’s Crisis Relief Fund have answered the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea. You can be the answer to prayer for those experiencing the next crisis.
Answer the prayers of those in crisis by giving to the President’s Crisis Relief Fund. Give online at www.wgm.org/crisisrelief.