This is a big issue because on a global scale we are letting Eastern Africa’s people suffer when there is no need of it. The drought in Eastern Africa is causing many conflicts and death due to lack of food and water. Meaning of Drought “For most of the history of our species we were helpless to understand how nature works. We took every storm, drought, illness and comet personally. We created myths and spirits in an attempt to explain the patterns of nature (Druyan).” According to Fox, Drought came also be seen as a slow- motion train wreck.
Leah clearly points out, “We've all ended up giving up body and soul to Africa, one way or another." Each of us, she adds, "got our heart buried in six feet of African dirt; we are all co-conspirators here." This is true of each and every character throughout the novel, as their faith is altered and influenced by the events within their stay in the Belgian Congo. Kingsolver presents to her reader many separate versions of faith, from Nathan’s forever devoted, to Orleanna’s incredibly subtle but morally strong. While reading the passages narrated by the women of the family it is realized, that without your own personal beliefs a life filled with success is unfathomable.
Nathan's motive for going to Africa was to try converting some of the villagers from the Kilanga Village to Christianity. Nathan is explaining to Mama Tataba that the citizens are "Broken in body and soul, and don’t even see how they could be healed" (53). Nathan is so fixated with trying to baptize the people of the Congo that he is causing the anger. Many of their conflicts are caused because of race, but here it is religion, the citizens don't appreciate Nathan's approach to baptism. The people of the village do not get along with Nathan, he is ignorant, but since his motive drives him he does not stop.
Stephan Kumalo, James Jarvis, and Absalom Kumalo undertake this very thing in Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton. Stephan Kumalo, a priest from the small native town of Ndotsheni, takes a journey to the great city of Johannesburg. He intends to find his sick sister and his son, Absalom, who has gone away. At first, Stephan has "the fear of the unknown, the fear of the great city"(44) where his loved ones had gone to and not written in months. Not long after he begins, he realizes "this is a bitter journey"(55) upon hearing the occupations and practices of his sister.
This is another difference between a knight of faith and one of infinite resignation. A knight of faith’s action does not benefit other, only themselves. Such as how Brutus performed the sacrifice in order to help his people while Abraham and Tejada both we performing acts that would benefit no one else besides their own relationship with God. For surely Abraham’s sacrifice of his son would not benefit anyone beside himself, only his standing with God by doing what is requested of him. The same is for Dora Tejada, for killing her own child would not in any way benefit anyone else, unlike Brutus’ sacrifice of his daughter.
Bigger families will provide children left after the unforgivable “ratio” is met. This leads to Africa not being able to met the food requirements needed to sustain families of larger size. In 1980 Africa had a decline in production of food products . Droughts are leading to no crop output, dying cattle, and starving peoples. Since 1977 to date over 600,00 people have died from starvation, another 19 million are starving, and 150 million are begin to feel the pull of no where to turn for the nourishment they are beginning to lack.
(235). From this quote, it becomes apparent that the Congo highlights her views towards religion. As she grew up with her father, she was forced into a religion, as in their family the punishment the children had to follow through with was "the verse," where they were required to write out one hundred lines from the bible my memory. Rachel doesn't agree with the idea of faith, however she does not forget that it is there. She chooses to live a very superficial life in Congo, leaving behind the luxurious life in America as well as her religion.
Similar to “In Exile”, Africa struggles with severe mob conflicts that leave people without food or shelter, many die from health issues and others are forced to live in exile within their own country. The people of Africa suffer each day as the quality of their life diminishes, left with hopelessness, confusion, and the struggle to live another day. Civilians find themselves without stable shelter wondering around the streets in hope for a better life. In rare cases some people do find their way around the chaos but it never lasts too long. Africa severally suffers from mob attacks.
She can now see why her father was an advocate for the Christian religion. What Nathan Price in a twisted shape of faith believes to be true is that “Tata Jesus” could save everyone from perishing, but what he could never fathom is that aside from religion there is so much more that needs to be done in this area. This is how Leah develops an understanding for the point of view of Tata Kuvudundu and the villagers, the white man should never have a place of authority or trustworthiness because his teachings are not culturally accepted. This is the exact scenario Blake references in The Poison Tree, “ I was angry with my foe; I told it not, my wrath did grow” These men never were accepting of one another and their beliefs, so there was no level of respect between the two. Leah sees the bigger picture that there is no time for a faith conversion when men and women do not have a voice and political efficacy.
The entire Grace family is deeply buried in religion, even if they might not be the best at truly showing it. Grace Shepherd herself, for example, believes herself to be saved, although she proclaims that she hates Jesus because he "made us take up travelling in His name, living with strangers and in tents and old school buses” (Smith Pg. 3) A lot of the problems in her life stem from her father, Virgil Shepherd, a snake-handling preacher who views his work as a “sign” that God truly exists. However, throughout the story, he is also uncovered as a womanizer who uses the idea that God forgives him in order to get away with his misdeeds whenever he “backslides.” Her journey through the novel is about her trying to find who she is and what she truly believes, along with her pursuit of happiness. Because of these roles in the story, religion is a persistent force that furthers the plot in multiple areas.