Posted: January 1, 2021
The Sahel region is like an imaginary belt that wraps across Africa. It forms a horizontal line from one side of the continent to the other. Above the belt is the dry Sahara Desert. Below the belt are tropical savannas.
There are 10 countries in the Sahel. Their land is barren. It doesn’t rain often. Drought wipes out crops. At other times, too much rain at once can cause problems. The area floods easily. The Sahel is familiar with famine. It doesn’t have enough food for people to survive.
Several cultures also flood the Sahel region. Arabic, Islamic, and nomadic cultures settled north of the Sahel. Below the belt are native cultures. The people in the Sahel region represent a mix of these many cultures. They believe different things. They fight a lot. Violence rages all over the Sahel region.
People living in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger are hurting even more than the others. Over half the population of those countries are under 25 years old. They have lost their homes. They are hungry. Children are malnourished. Their bodies are not getting the nutrition that they need to thrive. That even affects how their brains will develop. Safe drinking water is scarce. Schools are shut down. People feel hopeless.
Suffering is real. It is hard to watch. We want to help make things better. The Bible talks a lot about suffering. Romans 5 tells us to rejoice in suffering because God uses hard things to help us trust Him more.
Revelation 21:4 is a beautiful promise. It offers hope that suffering will stop one day. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
There are plenty of opportunities to help people who are suffering. We can show mercy. We can pray. And we can remember that suffering will not last forever. God will bring healing. He promises one day to fix all broken and sad things.