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The Whooping Woman
by Jeff Palmer

WORLD HUNGER DAY

October 14 is World Hunger Day on the Southern Baptist Convention calendar.

Churches are encouraged to alert their people to the hunger needs around us and around the world, encouraging their members to contribute to this vital cause.

Southern Baptists provide an avenue through which people can give to World Hunger. Called the World Hunger Fund, it is not another special offering the Convention promotes; rather it is a standing fund through which people can contribute on an ongoing basis to help meet hunger needs in the United States and around the world. All money received from the churches by the SBC Executive Committee is divided to overseas hunger needs and domestic hunger needs in an eighty-twenty split—80 percent goes to feed hungry people around the world and 20 percent is distributed to hunger projects across the United States. Because of the Cooperative Program, there are no overhead costs associated with distributing World Hunger contributions. Every penny of every dollar of World Hunger contributions goes directly to providing food and water to hungry people.

The World Hunger Fund is a ministry initiative jointly sponsored by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, IMB, and NAMB, and is assisted by the SBC Executive Committee, LifeWay, and WMU. If you would like to give to or learn more about the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund, please visit: www.worldhungerfund.com.

The Whooping Woman

by Jeff Palmer

One of our team members, weary from a long day of distributing food, had just returned to base camp and was cleaning up. Suddenly, he heard a loud voice that roused his interest.

“In the distance I heard a lady let out this traditional whoop of joy,” he said. She was banging on something, like on a drum, preceding each new whoop. After supper that night his host asked if he had heard the lady. When he replied he had, the host proceeded to tell the woman’s story.

Her husband had left her. She was a divorced woman with four children with no one to protect her and look out for her children’s interests. Because she had no man to advocate for her to be on the recipient list for the grain, she knew she and her children would be overlooked. However, when she got home from her work she found that the grain for a family of 5 was sitting there in her courtyard waiting for her. It was then she let out the whoop that had resonated through the village and began beating the five-gallon water jug she used as a makeshift drum. She told her neighbors she was going to beat the drum all night because she now had food to feed her children.

When is the last time that you “whooped” out loud because you and your family had food to eat? I don’t think that I have ever been that excited about my food. Maybe it’s because that I’ve always had food and never really had to go without.

The bush country of the Sahel, a semiarid region that cuts across the continent of Africa, can be a harsh land—especially in the current drought, one of many that has plagued this region for centuries. It is dry, desolate, and often dangerous. Even in the shade, heat waves shimmer, with temperatures often topping 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But because of the gifts of Southern Baptists, the refreshing wind of God’s mercy and grace has pervaded the corners of this village.

Thank you, Southern Baptists, for providing food to this single mother and her family, as well as millions of others across the globe through our Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund! I can envision that not only is this woman “whooping” because she and her children received food, but also that in the presence of the angels above others may have joined in with a “whoop” of their own.

For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat…Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me (Matthew 25:35, 40).

 


Jeff Palmer serves as president and CEO of Baptist Global Response, a Baptist relief agency which helps distribute food and other relief around the world on behalf of Southern Baptists. He is a member of First Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

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October 2012 Edition
Volume 21, Issue 1
October 2012