Responding to Global Hunger

Two years ago while on a missions trip to South Africa, I had the opportunity to participate in food distribution in the local community. The missionaries with whom I was working informed my team that the food had been purchased with Global Hunger Relief funds. It was a thrill for me to have a firsthand opportunity to hand out the bags of food and share with those receiving them.

Two hundred families had the all-important yellow card that allowed them to receive food. To my dismay, there were an equal number of families—including child-headed households—beyond the fence waiting and hoping for some food. Did these families riot when there was no food for them? No, they waited patiently—albeit desperately—for whatever there might be for them. As we concluded the distribution and had to leave, they were still standing there looking through the fence.

Scenes such as this change your life. I have always led in the Global Hunger Emphasis in my church, challenging our members to give so that we can do our part to alleviate hunger around the world. To be able to go the next step and respond personally has ramped up my efforts.

After speaking about this topic at a church, a woman came up to me to say, “I am so glad you told us about being part of a [global] hunger food distribution. You know, you give your money and sometimes it just seems to go into a black hole. You never know if it truly reaches those that need it. Now I know that it does.”

I no longer consider my participation in Global Hunger Relief a once-a-year responsibility. It is the food bins set up in classrooms in my church as Sunday School classes compete with one another to see who can bring in the most canned goods for the local food pantry. It is candies being handed out during Sunday worship with each candy representing a portion of the world population and what it would have to eat that day. It is bread banks for Global Hunger Relief being filled with coins by our children. It is 30-hour hunger campaigns conducted by our teens. It is going without a meal in order for someone else to have one.

I have stepped up to the plate, literally!

Susan Bryant lives in Kentucky, where she lives out her passion for missions by serving as president, Kentucky WMU, and a trustee for the International Mission Board.

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