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The grim pictures and details that Zakka Chomock shared with his Trinity audience Monday, February 16 provided images of the desolate conditions that millions of West Africans face every day.

Chomock spoke during Dr. Brad Breems' sociology class about the work of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee across the globe. He discussed ways in which North American Christians can help reverse the social and economic hardship that has oppressed five nations in the West Africa region.

"The issues of poverty and government corruption have deprived many Africans of basic life essentials," said Chomock, justice education coordinator for the CRWRC in Nigeria. "There is a great lack of civic education, and the conflict with the government has made the state of poverty much worse."

The CRWRC works with people worldwide to create permanent, positive change in the communities spanning 30 countries. Its West African region includes Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Chomock described the need to reduce poverty by restoring the civic and physical environment, developing conflict resolution, and improving literacy and health.

"If more resources were given to address poverty, the world would be much safer. Guns are cheaper than food, and young people in these countries are deprived of a reasonable future, so they resort to guns for armed robberies and conflict. The corrupt government leaders have placed money in (international) banks instead using it to develop their own countries that are in dire need.

"Justice is a core value of the CRWRC, and its basis is found in the Bible," he said, referring to Micah 6:8. "God wants us to act justly, love mercy, and walk right before Him. I have a deep conviction that Christians need to deal with global injustice, and I believe that the church is best equipped for this task."

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