“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” - John 6:9
"I have wondered what it must have been like to have had a ringside seat that day on the Galilean hillside 2,000 years ago, amidst 5,000 men--plus women and children--listening hungrily to God’s message delivered in person by His Son. Then, as the sun was setting, the entire crowd was dizzy with hunger, but gradually realizing there was no food, and dreading the long hike home on empty stomachs..."
Empty stomachs is a daily reality for desperately poor families in Papua New Guinea.
The drought in the area lasted nine long, hot months. Crops were destroyed. Economies were broken. Children were malnourished. Adults were famished, doing anything they could to provide for their family-members.
In the midst of this staggering poverty and the looming threat of famine, IDES' partners are translating the Bible into the native language of the Aruamu people. The glory these partners bring to God in the face of suffering is immense.
"...Then I think what it would have been like, watching Jesus as he picked up that little lunch offering of a lad, and lifted it toward heaven and broke it, and broke it, and broke it some more and kept breaking it until there was enough to go around to feed the entire throng of people."
This Spring, thanks to the generosity of our donors, IDES was able to bless the Aruamu people with emergency hunger relief in the form of 6 truckloads of rice. Just like Jesus multiplied the young boy's gift to feed many thousands, our Father in Heaven multiplies your gifts to feed many thousands, too.
"We prayed," our mission partner said. "God moved his people with hearts of compassion. God has provided food for hungry people once again!"
Around 1,970 families received portions of rice, nearly 10,000 people. One of the Aruamu believers helping with the translation of the Bible into their native language reflected on the immense benefit this relief has had on the villages:
"I would like to say thank you for your helping to the Aruamu people. We have had this famine for 9 months, starting from June 2015 into 2016. My own family in the village has been facing this famine. I came to the U.S. in February to help check our Old Testament translation. So I had to leave my family in PNG in this hungertime. Since I have been here in the US, I can see that there are many foods here, and I can eat 3 times a day. I want to say thank you to God’s people here for having compassion toward the Aruamu people and sharing your blessing with them. Because of your helping, now they are having rice to eat, while they are waiting for the new gardens to grow. Your helping is very wonderful and kind. I know that God will bless you. I thank you for your prayer for our Aruamu people during this difficult time, and also for your prayer for us as we work on translating."