Last week I had a friend send me a picture of man that died of starvation. He had an empty water bottle in his hand. I asked him where he got the picture and he said he took it with his phone and that it was along the route home for him back from work. It was literally taken on his phone. It horrified me that this poor man would have suffered so much and that he died, not because of a lack of food, because food is available in this world, and in this country, but it was for lack of love; love in action. About 3 days later my wife and I booked a ticket to Kenya and I got on the a flight the following day. And I brought my right hand man, filmmaker Eithel Krauss who made the sacrifice to come out to use his gifts to capture what's happening here. My wife, Lori Otto has had the dream to change lives in Africa and this is the fulfillment of that vision. She is a volunteer, and helping to lead this volunteer mission. We have 5 people on the ground volunteering, and Lori is coordinating that effort and the needs of that operation. I have been consulting with the locals here as to where the most effected regions and individuals are. We will be seeing the work of groups making a difference, as well as documenting the needs to communicate to the world how we can turn the tide in these affected regions. We believe that the use of professional documentary films is the avenue to give a powerful message to the world that will help to change the future for these people. Over the past few days, to one of the 3 village communities I visited, I asked if they had any cases of people that you fear will die from hunger. They were kind enough to not point to themselves but start pointing to each other. They brought to me 18 women that were skin and bone. The 2 women stretched their arms out to me and said, through my translator, 'feel my arms and my hands. I'm not sick with a disease. I am dying because of starvation. Thank you for your support and the support of your friends, but please assist us more'. One of these women showed me her belly and her back and I felt so sick in my stomach that I thought I was going to throw up. I've never had that happen like that before. I chose to hold her hands and look into her eyes, instead of turning away, and that sick feeling surfaced and outburst of tears... it was the feeling of crying when I was a young boy. The people are so tough that their response was confusion and bunch of people laughed. They're not used to expressing emotion, and I think that's largely because they have to conceal their emotions so often not to demoralize. (One group I asked when the last time was that they had a meal when they could eat as much as they like, and I expected an answer of some months, and they told me 10 years. Which is another reason why farming is the answer). Now, for this picture. So, my intention was to make sure that no one is left to starve. So I asked is there anyone you know of that you fear will die very soon? They told us where to go and we drove up the dry river bed a mile or so and found this man within an inch of his life. The people said they fear he could die any day. In fact the village community we were at an hour before this actually showed me the grave sites of those that had just died within a couple of weeks. One grandmother was holding a baby telling of the death of her daughter. I found out that the famine hit her so hard because she had a 1 week old baby, and was breast feeding, and there wasn't enough nutrition for the both of them. The babies name is Jeremiah. He is 3 weeks old now and being looked after by an old lady, his grandmother, that is in total despair. She cried when talking to me. Of the 5 times I've been here in Africa that was one of the only times I've seen a person cry openly. By taking action we can create a compelling message that can have such an impact as to force a government to live up to it's promises as they see the spirit of love. We need to show these people that the world has not forgotten and we are not going to let them suffer and die. As I write this from the small hotel I'm staying in, under a mosquito net, I'm processing all of these emotions. I've been indifferent to the suffering of people I don't know so often in my life but I allowed myself to look into this and I can't help myself from having the tears well up, and from feeling my throat choke up. Still love is only known through action. Please share this message, and please help to get the word out. If you close your eyes, and block your ears you can still feel the cry for help. I'll be giving updates and getting the word out on the contribution those are making to help make history. People knowing about you raising your hand just inspires them to raise theirs. But remember we've got to act fast. If we don't do something we're about to see to see much worse things. It gets even harder when it's young children. Please consider making a decision to make a difference today by supporting Lori and I to help these precious people in Kenya through this mission. Help spread the word!
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