LISTEN: Aid Groups Call for Attention to African & MidEast Famines (BCNN1 3/25/17)

1. According to WORLD, aid groups and government officials in famine-hit parts of Africa and the Middle East are calling for more global attention to a crisis that has left more than 20 million people at risk of starvation. The United Nations earlier this month said the world is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II. More than 20 million people across conflict-hit regions in South Sudan, Somalia, northeastern Nigeria, and Yemen are at risk of famine and starvation. The rising needs and worsening conditions have left several aid groups and government officials scrambling for resources. The Ugandan government on Thursday said the country is at a “breaking point,” with some 3,000 refugees coming in daily from neighboring South Sudan. More than 570,000 refugees have arrived in the country since July, and the number will likely climb to more than 1 million this year, the Ugandan government said in a joint statement with the UN. Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakhana Rugunda said: “We continue to welcome our neighbors in their time of need, but we urgently need the international community to assist as the situation is becoming increasingly critical.”

2. According to Christian Headlines, a pastor in Uganda has joined forces with law enforcement and politicians to put a stop to the brutal and barbaric practice of child sacrifice. In Uganda, ancient superstition still holds sway over many people. Witch doctors say that the spirits are pleased with the blood of children, so even well-to-do businessmen are kidnapping and killing children in order to attain supposed good fortune. Pastor Peter Sewakiryanga, who runs Kyampisi Childcare Ministries, is working to put an end to child sacrifice in Uganda. Sewakiryanga says that the brutal crimes happen nearly every month. Pastor Sewakiryanga and his ministry is not only working to stop child sacrifice, they are also working to provide support for children who survive. He said: “We want to see that the life of a child who has survived is supported, that they are socially able to stand and heal from the injuries, and that they can have a life after that.”

3. According to CBN News, a Christian group is calling millennials into ministry, saying their “strong social conscience” is key in bringing physical and “living water” to those in need. The group, Reach Beyond, launched in March the “Fill My Cup” project, a 60-day campaign to raise money to drill a clean water well in a small village in West Africa. The goal is to raise $12,000 to do this, and the missionary organization hopes millennials will take part. Organizers also hope the project will open doors to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Steve Harling, the president of Reach Beyond, said in a statement: “We admire how so many millennial Christians have a high concern about issues of social justice. But they also tend to be less invested in sharing the gospel. We want to help them learn more about how the two can go together — a practical demonstration of God’s care naturally leading to opportunities to share the gospel.”

4. According to the Associated Press, Black members of Congress are calling for the Justice Department to help police investigate a large number of missing children in Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia logged 501 cases of missing juveniles, many of them black or Latino, in the first three months of this year, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, the city’s police force. Twenty-two were unsolved as of March 22, police said. The letter, dated Tuesday and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, was sent by Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District in Congress. They called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey to “devote the resources necessary to determine whether these developments are an anomaly or whether they are indicative of an underlying trend that must be addressed.”

5. According to the Associated Press, a police watchdog agency investigator who leaked the disciplinary record of a white police officer involved in the chokehold death of unarmed black man Eric Garner resigned on Thursday. The investigator, who was not publicly identified, worked for the Civilian Complaint Review Board for less than a year and had no role in the investigation of any of the disciplinary cases against Officer Daniel Pantaleo that were leaked to the website, the board said. Board secretary Jerika Richardson said: “After a swift and thorough internal investigation, the Civilian Complaint Review Board identified the employee who was the source of the leak. As of today, that individual no longer works at CCRB.”

6. According to Billboard, for more than 30 years the Stellar Gospel Music Awards have built a reputation as the premier gospel event of the year. By spotlighting both the traditional artists who laid the genre’s foundation and the newcomers who have shepherded its growth, the program, helmed by founder Don Jackson, has bolstered the careers of gospel’s most talented acts. The 32nd annual awards, set for March 25 at the Las Vegas Orleans Arena (and airing April 9 at 6 p.m. ET on TV One) will continue to serve that legacy. The 10 artists who earned the most nominations this year are: BRIANA “Bri” BABINEAUX, SHIRLEY CAESAR, JEKALYN CARR, TODD DULANEY, KIRK FRANKLIN, TRAVIS GREENE, LIVRE, TAMELA MANN, ENON TABERNACLE, and HEZEKIAH WALKER.

7. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Forest Whitaker has joined Codeblack Films’ Angela Davis biopic as an executive producer, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The actor boards the project after Lionsgate’s Codeblack acquired the movie rights last year to Angela Davis: An Autobiography, centering on the life and legacy of the prominent civil rights activist. Also joining is Nina Yang Bongiovi, with whom Whitaker produced Fruitvale Station and Dope. Sidra Smith, who produced the 2012 doc Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, and Codeblack Enterprises CEO Jeff Clanagan also are producing the film. Davis will serve as an executive producer with her niece, playwright Eisa Davis.

That’s all for today. You can read these stories and more online at

In closing, remember, the good news of God’s love. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Thanks for listening. May God bless your day.