In the United States, 60% of the hungry households have someone working. This photo by Don Rutledge moved many Southern Baptists to a deeper understanding of the causes and effects of poverty and hunger. Pictured is Bailey King, a sharecropper who worked long hours to feed 13 children. In the background is his wife, Luvenia, preparing breakfast. Photographer Rutledge, by the way, retired recently after serving Southern Baptists for 30 years at the Home and Foreign Mission Boards.
• For 20 percent of the world's population, having enough clean water to drink and bathe in is a life-or-death issue.
• Almost 800 million people in the developing world are undernourished, consuming too few calories to sustain more than light physical activity.
• One-third of all children in the developing world are getting too little food to grow to their expected body size.
Hunger Relief Essential to Sharing The Gospel
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The rains for the most part have been very good in Zimbabwe, but in the Zambezi Valley they did not get good rains this year, and what they had came very late. When we got back from furlough, Gregg requested more Hunger Relief Funds for bags of corn for the people. When the truck arrived, one bag of corn fell off the truck and burst. A very weak elderly woman made her way over to the burst bag and began picking up the corn kernels to eat them raw. Pastor Kamuzangaza told her she needed to grind and cook the corn first, or she would make herself sick. She looked up at him and told him she was too weak and hungry to wait that long. It is sad to us that in recent years the SBC offerings designated for World Hunger have steadily declined. We have found that when we are able to fill people's stomachs, they are willing to listen to the gospel, and they become filled spiritually as well.
Gregg and Donna Fort
SBC missionaries to Zimbabwe
Feeding Their Bellies To Reach Their Hearts
Last year, Southern Baptists gave more than $6.5 million to worldwide hunger relief. If only one out of 20 Southern Baptists gave just $10 per month, the annual Southern Baptist Convention hunger contributions would surpass $90 million. Our system is unique in that 100 percent of hunger gifts go to hunger needs, and none of the money is spent on administrative or promotional costs.
All Giving Rises with Hunger Giving
Does giving to world hunger negatively impact the Cooperative Program, special offerings, and church budgets?
No! In fact, the reverse is true. As giving to world hunger has increased, giving to other Southern Baptist causes has gone up also.
Ways To Help Hunger Relief
• Save spare change for a year and then give it toward world hunger
• Establish a food bank in your community
• Serve a soup dinner after Sunday morning service, emphasizing that Americans have access to more food than most people in the world. Ask families to give what they would have spent in a restaurant
• Ask members of your church youth group to go without food for one day and give the money they would have spent to hunger relief
• For other ideas about helping with hunger relief, call the Christian Life Commission at (615) 244-2495.