Global Hunger

Just How Hungry Are You?

My own children often declare that they are “starving to death,” but are they really? Join us at our dinner table or accompany me as I buy groceries each week, and you’ll realize that food is not an issue in our house. In their worldview, however, “starving to death” could mean anything from being bored to not having dinner at the exact time their stomachs think it should be served.

It has come to my attention that if my own boys need to learn more about hunger, then my GAs probably do too. This month, as you and your CAs, GAs, or RAs learn more about the work of Baptist Global Relief and the work they do to provide help for those in need around the word, challenge your children’s group to earn their Global Hunger Relief Badge/Patch through one of these project suggestions:

Hunger Destroys Families

There’s an online video that depicts a mother walking her daughter to a train station, handing her a bagged lunch, seating her on the train, and then walking away. The family had run out of food and did not have the resources to continue caring for the girl and her sister. The parents made the agonizing choice to send one daughter away.

As a parent, my heart squeezes each time I watch the video. I know the images are recreations with actors, but the story is true. According to the video’s ending, UNICEF estimated in 2007 there were 25 million orphaned children in India. Thousands of families each day face starvation and poverty. Parents make the impossible choice of who gets to eat and who starves.

I have four children and am beyond blessed to have an overflowing pantry. I cannot imagine, though, having to say goodbye to a child because of unending hunger and exhausted resources.

A Collaborative Ministry in Thailand

McIntosh Family

Claire and Mark McIntosh* work among a people who are mired in poverty and hopelessness. Their ministry speaks to the truth that in sharing God’s love, we must also meet people’s physical needs.

The McIntoshes help villagers find sources of clean water, provide seeds, share sustainable sources of protein, and enrich education. They teach a group of women how to weave baskets and purses that can be sold in order to earn money for their families. As the McIntosh family engages in community development, they build relationships and share stories of God’s love and care.

Mr. McIntosh shares that in one village, lack of food led to many health problems. Through funding provided by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® and the Cooperative Program, Mr. and Mrs. McIntosh gave the people seeds and taught them how to garden and save seed for future crops. They educated the people about soil maintenance and gave them chickens as an ongoing source of protein. When they began ministering here, no one knew Jesus. Now, there are 39 followers of Jesus in this village!

Hungry Versus Hunger

“I’m hungry,” remarks my grown son. He opens the refrigerator door, studies the contents, and then declares, “There’s nothing in here to eat!” and walks away. Vegetables, milk, eggs, and a casserole sit on the shelves.

Contrast this scenario with refugees living with no food in war torn Syria or elsewhere. This is the reality of the hunger crisis plaguing our world on a daily basis. What can you and I do? 

Start by praying. Pray for those in this situation. Pray for creative ways to make your church aware of Global Hunger Relief and Global Hunger Sunday on October 9, 2016. In the past our church sold tickets for a secret meal. Imagine the surprise of the attendees when they received only a bowl of rice.

Sacrificial Giving

Earlier this year my pastor challenged church members to sacrifice something so they could give to ministries that help the needy. The point was to give something of value, not something left over or unneeded.

One family sold a valuable collectible. Another family canceled their cable and donated whatever they would have spent on their cable bill. Our children sold their favorite doll and toys and gave the proceeds.

Ultimately, several hundred dollars was raised to clothe and feed people both locally and globally. Can you imagine the impact such sacrificial giving would have if every Southern Baptist gave deeply to care for the hungry and poor?

The Global Hunger Relief Fund ministers to the needy in North America and around the world by offering help to those suffering from disasters, as well as those who struggle with chronic hunger. October 9 is Global Hunger Sunday. Ask God how He would have you help end hunger for the most vulnerable around the world.

Feed the Hungry

Rather than just a once-a-year emphasis like Global Hunger Sunday, some churches maintain a year-round global hunger missions plan that involves all age groups and missions organizations. Some events are churchwide, some specific to a particular age or life stage, and some sponsored by one organization but open to all. Events might include the following:

Churchwide

• Host a community Thanksgiving meal. Invite participants to bring nonperishable items for the church or community food pantry or an offering for Global Hunger Relief

• Schedule regular offerings for global hunger, the local food pantry, or the church benevolence fund—after Lord’s Supper services, one Sunday per quarter, or other times the church chooses.

• Invite a North American Mission Board or International Mission Board missionary to share how funds given to the offering for Global Hunger Relief have been used to meet physical as well as spiritual needs.

Senior Adults

Global Hunger Relief: Children Can Make a Difference

Hunger is one of the most challenging needs we face today. How is it that some have so much while others have so little? This month, children will be learning about the global hunger epidemic. As part of the Global Hunger Relief initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention, churches around the country will have the opportunity to learn about, pray for, and give to one of the most basic needs of human existence. In fact, a staggering 100% of all funds given on Global Hunger Relief Sunday (October 9) will go directly toward providing food for those in need.

Teaching Preschoolers about Hunger

Teaching Preschoolers about Hunger

During October, Southern Baptists will turn our attention toward Global Hunger Relief. Unfortunately, hunger is an issue that touches every community throughout the world. While we would never share graphic details about hunger with our preschoolers, we can certainly raise their awareness that people in their own communities and around the world do not have enough to eat, and that we want to reach out to help those who suffer from hunger.

One resource that will help you develop age-appropriate learning about hunger is Teaching Preschoolers about Hunger (E118102, $9.99). This downloadable, interactive, 4-session study provides teachers, preschoolers, and their families new insights into the issue of global hunger.

The following suggestions will give you some ideas for adding lessons on hunger relief into your church’s schedule:

Global Hunger Relief

One in seven people in the U.S. access food banks to help meet their needs. (Hunger in America 2014)

One out of six children—roughly 100 million—in developing countries is underweight. (The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015)

Read more staggering statistics related to domestic and international hunger needs and mobilize your church to take action. 


Click here for global hunger ideas you, your family, and your church can use and check out these additional resources:

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.

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