Hunger Happens Everywhere
EDITOR’S NOTE: On World Hunger Sunday, October 12, Southern Baptist congregations will address the hunger crisis across North America and around the world by focusing on the theme “Hunger Happens Everywhere.” Donations received are channeled through Global Hunger Relief, which uses 100 percent of each gift to meet hunger needs. For more information, visit www.globalhungerrelief.com.
A Japanese tsunami survivor, Mi San (Mr. Mi), shows IMB missionary Bob Gellerstedt, a BGR partner, a wall hanging he made during an arts and crafts time. The Gellerstedts’ regular visits with Mi San and his wife at their temporary housing unit are helping their hearts heal from the trauma of Japan’s “triple disaster”—the 2011 tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear plant meltdown. Though the “triple disaster” happened three years ago, Southern Baptists continue to provide what BGR partners call “heart care,” building on a foundation laid by Global Hunger Relief and Baptist Global Response. Photo courtesy of BGR.
A local boy watches as Larry Thomas (front) and Joey Rojero (back) of the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists take survey measurements of a well damaged by Typhoon Haiyan at Kalipayan Baptist Church in Tacloban, Philippines. The team helped restore the local community’s water supply by repairing a well in the church courtyard. It’s going to take a long time to rebuild Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan virtually destroyed the city. But Southern Baptists are committed to the community, and Global Hunger Relief is helping restore lives. Photo by Hugh Johnson.
Volunteer Dorothy Wargo (far right) dishes up food at Ozanam Inn, or “The Oz,” as part of First Baptist Church of New Orleans’ hunger ministry to its neglected neighbors in a neighborhood severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Nearly one hundred volunteers assist each week with First Baptist’s four feeding ministries, which use Global Hunger Relief funds provided by Southern Baptists. FBNO also provides meals to the homeless and the homebound. Also pictured are volunteers (from far left) Rufus Johnson, Jerry Seetin, Beth Akin, and Victor Mitchell. Photo by Andrea Mabry.
In Iraq, as ISIS fighters overran the cities of Mosul, Tikrit and Tel Afar, an estimated 200,000 people fled, many with nothing more than the belongings they could carry. When about 20,000 of those displaced families arrived in a city where Southern Baptist partners were working, the team was able to help meet emergency needs for several hundred families by providing locally purchased tents, drinking water, infant formula, and basic food staples. Global Hunger Relief is providing crucial resources for the effort—and 100 percent of every donation is being used to meet direct hunger needs. Screen capture from CNN.com.
South Putnam Baptist Church is located in Putnam County, the third poorest county in Florida, in a community where families and seniors live on fixed incomes and migrants provide cheap labor for the area’s fern industry. Twice a month a team of volunteers operates the church’s “Feed the Need” ministry, providing grocery staples, fresh fruits picked from members’ homes, produce, and meats when available, to the hungry in their neighborhood. During a six-month period this year, five persons were baptized as a direct result of the ministry. Each Sunday several return to worship at the church. Photo courtesy of GHR.
The Foundry Church in Philadelphia uses Global Hunger Relief funds to help operate a food pantry, deliver food to shut-ins, and distribute bread on the streets. They also reach their urban neighbors with a rural concept—growing fresh produce in their urban garden, which yields 500 pounds of produce annually. This provides an opportunity to run Garden Camp, an urban gardening-based Vacation Bible School, where the church teaches children about gardening and nutrition as well as their Creator. Photo courtesy of Michael Kelley.
The violence and turmoil in Syria continues to escalate, and Syrians are fleeing in ever-greater numbers to surrounding countries. Most are leaving with few possessions and very limited ability to provide for their own basic needs. Southern Baptists are helping thousands of desperate families who have fled the violence in Syria—now totaling an astounding 9.3 million people, inside the country and out. Using Global Hunger Relief funds, the International Mission Board and Baptist Global Response are providing food parcels and hygiene kits to families in need. Find out how you can help by visiting www.gobgr.org/syria. Photo courtesy of Jedidiah Smith.
“Because of the faithful gifts of our churches through the Cooperative Program, every penny of every dollar of personal gifts to Global Hunger Relief goes directly to feeding the hungry here in the United States and around the world. Southern Baptists have been passionate about meeting hunger needs for many years. [The new Global Hunger Relief initiative] will help connect a younger generation to the urgency of this need.”
Frank S. Page, president and CEO
SBC Executive Committee
“Jesus modeled for His followers how to reach into the heart of those who were lost and hurting by feeding them physically and spiritually. For many years, the World Hunger Fund has made it possible for many of our missionaries serving in places where hunger is a real and daily challenge to minister to the people they serve. . . . By following the example of Jesus, we become more like Him as we share His love with a hurting world.”
Wanda S. Lee, executive director/treasurer
Woman’s Missionary Union
“[NAMB’s close work with Southern Baptist state partners] has given us many opportunities to be sure underserved communities in North America are receiving food for the hungry and a chance to experience the hope found in Christ. We look forward to this continued partnership and to expanding these opportunities.”
Kevin Ezell, president
North American Mission Board
“Healthy churches reach out to people in crisis. Feeding hungry people is one of the best ways to help them experience God’s transforming love. LifeWay Christian Resources is pleased to support hunger ministries across America and around the world, and encourages churches and their members to participate in the Global Hunger Relief initiative.”
Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO
LifeWay Christian Resources
“Hunger strategies are one of the most effective tools we have in reaching people in need both physically and spiritually. The simple act of helping people with their basic hunger need has shown over and over to be an effective compassion strategy that also gets us into heart conversations with people who do not know God’s love. . . . I have seen that the Word of God never returns void. I also have seen that the compassion of Christ, meeting needs like hunger, doesn’t return void either.”
Jeff Palmer, executive director
Baptist Global Response
“Right now across the world there are more than three thousand unengaged, unreached people groups. That means they have not had the privilege of hearing the Gospel . . . [E]very project [using Global Hunger Relief funds] is tied to a long-term strategy, not only for evangelism and discipleship, but for planting reproducing churches. There can be no better investment of your resources and your life than through projects like that, which will bear fruit unto life eternal.”
Tom Elliff, former president
International Mission Board
“No one is for world hunger. We all think it’s a terrible thing and we wish it would go away. Having the right feelings about hunger, though, isn’t enough. . . . The World Hunger Fund—and the new Global Hunger Relief initiative—is a tangible way for Baptist Christians to feed hungry people in Jesus’ name. The Bible tells us we’ll be asked at the Judgment Seat about our response to the hungry. The least we can do is give—to offer a meal and the Gospel of life to those who are starving.”
Russell Moore, president
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission