It had been the worst drought anyone in the area could remember. The wells and streams had run dry. The crops were long gone and even the goats were having a hard time finding enough to eat. Worried villagers began trading stories of armed bandits raiding herds and farms, carrying off everything they could. The rains failed yet again and food prices went higher and higher. When rumors of war started coming closer, Sowda and her family decided it was time to leave.
Sowda gathered her children and their few possessions and began to walk. The family joined others along the dry and dusty road through parched scrub and sand, forming a slow procession to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.
They walked for weeks, constantly thirsty, constantly hungry. Sowda worried about her children, about the bandits, about what would happen once the family finally arrived.
And the family finally did arrive. As Sowda walked up to the intake center, someone reached out and handed her a drink of water. And Sowda finally smiled. Things were going to turn out all right after all.
In addition to providing that first drink of water at Dadaab, your gifts to ELCA Disaster Response designated for the Horn of Africa Drought Relief provide food, water and other needed services for families and communities affected by this slow-moving disaster. Your gifts will be used entirely — 100 percent — for this effort.Download this story as a bulletin insert