One of the most important messages he picked up from his travels in Ethiopia, Bell says, is that we as Canadians are intricately connected with people in Ethiopia. The Bible talks a lot about how we treat our neighbours, but I don’t know if I’d ever really internalized the fact that Ethiopians are my neighbours and the choices I make can impact them.
Where it hit home the most was in the Afar Region, he continues. Historically, this region was hit by drought every ten to twelve years. Now, because of global warming, the droughts have increased to every five to seven years. The pastoral lifestyles following their cattle from one watering hole or grazing field to another can no longer be sustained. The Afar people are being forced to change the source of their livelihoods. While their livestock was once their primarily source of food and income, they now have to learn to plant and till and harvest.
A camera crew accompanied the Steve and his wife Nanci on their journey, and the short film and music video are being distributed to all churches affiliated with the Foodgrains Bank’s member agencies.