As we talk with families around the world, the message is clear: climate change is threatening their lives. They tell us drought is more frequent. Storms, more severe. And that they are scared for their future.
Lebiso has been a farmer for the past 15 years and lives in Hobicha, Ethiopia with his wife and six children. The landscape is picturesque – characterized by hilly terrain, large plains, valleys and gorges. But beneath the serene landscape, there is suffering.
“The climate has changed, and it has harmed us a lot and made farming difficult.” Lebiso tells us. “As the weather changes, it causes rainfall fluctuations and untimely rainfalls, which often destroys the crops.”
A changing climate may be an inconvenience to us, but to many around the world it is a matter of life and death. Without action, climate change is poised to push 132 million more into extreme poverty by 2030.
We don’t believe that this is OK.
God loves his creation. From the beginning, we see how God is intimately involved in creation—and how he called it good. From within the garden, God entrusted humankind to steward and take care of creation, to help tend to it and help it flourish.
Unfortunately, we know that it didn’t turn out this way. When the fall happened, it not only broke our relationship with God, but also with each other and creation itself. But amazingly, right from the start, God had a plan to make all things new.
We believe that Christ came not only for our own salvation but also to restore all of creation. Francis Schaeffer, an American theologian and pastor expressed it this way “The Christian message begins with the existence of God forever, and then with creation. It does not begin with salvation. We must be thankful for salvation, but the Christian message is more than that.”
Today as image bearers, we have responsibility for God’s creation. We are to be stewards of God’s world, working for the good of His creation. We cry out for justice and look forward to when Christ comes again and all things are fully restored.
With help from Tearfund, Lebiso learned about farming practices to increase resiliency to climate change. Now, he says, “I have many plans for the future. Things happen according to God’s will and I am implementing the new farming practice across my farmland. There are plants that I can plant to cover the ground. Not only do these prevent water loss, I can also sell them. That way, I can increase my income, and cover the school fees for my children.”
Although climate change is a serious issue we believe that God created a world full of life and abundance—one where all can thrive. We know God is sovereign and working to make all things new! Together, we can make a difference for those affected most and work towards a future of opportunity and hope.