Esther, the Fasting Queen
Today, the third day of my fast, I am reminded of Esther. She was an orphaned Jew who became queen—wife of the Persian king, Xerxes. When her people were threatened by death, she fasted unto God. Then she approached the king and asked—successfully—that her people be saved.
The reason her story comes to mind as I fast is the crucial—yet underrated—role women play in development.
We released our latest fact sheet on maternal and child health today. Globally, women suffer disproportionately from hunger, disease, and poverty. The level of child and maternal malnutrition remains unacceptable throughout the world—especially in Asia and Africa, where 90 percent of the world’s chronically undernourished people live.
There are many women like Esther, who put their trust in God to save people. With God’s help they will be given the grace to improve their villages, to save lives, and to raise healthy families.
Another Esther, Jo Luck, my fellow World Food Prize laureate, just wrote to say she has joined me in fasting to protect programs that serve hungry and poor people. Thank you, Jo, for your leadership at Heifer International.
David Beckmann is president of Bread for the World.
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