This past Thursday, millions of Americans gave thanks for all their blessings, yet in a few hours, these same people made mad rushes to buy on-sale items before the surrounding mob did. And while all this is happening, an Adventist-owned university is literally running out food!
So what do you do to feed the estimated 3,200 students, faculty, and staff in a country where drought and hyperinflation have brought a national food crisis? Due to low food supply, Solusi University (located near Bulawayo, in the Southern part of Zimbabwe) is on the verge of sending its students home! The university has been facing this situation since February 2007.
Adventist universities in North America such as Union College (Lincoln, Nebraska), Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, California), and Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Michigan) are collecting funds for Solusi.
"This has to be an ongoing effort," says Larry Blackmer, vice president for Education for the church in North America. "Otherwise, Solusi will get a bunch of food in one load and none afterward." Blackmer anticipates the project will continue for six months to a year.
The first collection of funds, Blackmer says, has already been sent to the church's regional headquarters in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, where the money will be used to purchase food in Botswana, Mozambique or South Africa and trucked across the border into Zimbabwe. University officials estimate US $120,000 would buy enough food in Zimbabwe's neighboring countries to sustain Solusi for a year.
University officials say they plan to obtain an irrigation system and farming equipment in an effort to achieve food self-sufficiency within six months.
Solusi University, established in 1894, is Zimbabwe's largest private university. The campus also includes an elementary school and a high school.
Go out and help someone in need --anyone! I'll guarantee you'll have a warm and satisfying feeling, more than what any Thanksgiving dinner or shopping spree can give!