Child of the Somali Famine

Nik Ripken is a man who has been to some of the most broken and dark places on earth. He has seen war, devastation, and famine in Somalia first hand. And yet, he continues to go back to treat young kids affected by the Somali famine. Why?

Find out as Nik shares a story about a Somali girl that will break your heart.

Fighting the Somali Famine

When Nik walked over to this 3-year-old, 13-pound Somali girl and rubbed his index finger across her cheek, she smiled in a way that changed him. It was a smile full of hope and resilience, despite the odds stacked against her. He knew he had to help in any way that he could. He decided to adopt her and bring her back home. However, minutes after he decided to save her life, she died.

Although Nik didn’t know the girl for very long, he was devastated by her death. He had hoped that by adopting her, he could give her a better life than she would have had – starved by the Somali famine.

“That’s one face I still see,” Nik said, shaking his head:

If I could have gotten there a day earlier… we could’ve gotten some IVs into her, and they could’ve started feeding her a bit of the stuff we bring… it would have taken us a month to get her strong enough to carry her.

It was a wasted life, Nik felt. One that could have been saved if only they’d gotten there in time.

Continue the Mission

Nik Ripken is a man on a mission. For more than 30 years, Nik has been involved in global missions, working to bring the hope of the gospel to some of the most broken and hurting places on earth. Learn more about Nik, send a friendly message, or request an interview.