“When I walked outside people, thinking I was a doctor, began handing me their dead children. Within minutes I watched 25 children die.”
These were the opening words of Ambassador Tony Hall from within the confines of a small, crowded, yet attentive, room at Eastern University. The setting painted a portrait of the urgent, yet exhausted nature, of his call.
Yesterday marked the 15th day of Ambassador Hall’s fast; a fast that allowed for only water until a few days ago when he added fruit drinks. A fast that draws attention to the devastating nature of the proposed federal budget cuts and what they will do to the poorest of the poor.
The purpose of the fast is three fold:
- Educate Americans on the statistics and accurate status of what is going on in our nation and around the world relate to hunger.
- Reawaken Legislators to the truth that 70, 000 people will die from these cuts domestically while upwards of 18 million people internationally will pass away because of revoked feeding programs and clean water initiatives.
- Put a circle of protection around the most vulnerable people both in our country and overseas.
Sadly, there is nothing shocking about hearing that people are hungry. Many know the statistics: over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day while over 1 billion people do not have the benefit of knowing when their next meal will be. Despite these appalling statistics the gap between learning and doing is deep and wide.
Ambassador Hall’s call demands that this gap narrow. Right now over 40, 000 people have signed on to join the Ambassador for his fast which will continue until at least Easter. Of these people, 28 are members of Congress who seek to balance the budget but not on the backs of the poor.
As conscientious followers of Christ, our thoughts and actions cannot depart from the way of justice and righteousness. As Christ said, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Today, may you heed the words of Christ and join Ambassador Hall and the more than 40, 000 other people in their fast against unjust budget cuts. Also, take time today to contact your member of Congress and let them know how you feel about balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest of the poor.
This is a pivotal point in our nation’s history – please act and join the thousands of others in the call for justice within our national budget.