ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – On Sunday, Aug. 28, Southern Baptists will recognize Global Hunger Sunday, and many churches will collect an offering that supports Global Hunger Relief, a fund administered by Send Relief to combat world hunger.
In 2021, groups associated with hunger relief estimated that 2.3 billion people faced moderate to severe challenges to obtaining enough food to eat. The total population facing severe insecurity climbed to an estimated 924 million.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the hunger problem in impoverished areas. Of the top 15 nations identified by the Global Hunger Index of 2021 most affected by hunger and malnutrition, 10 are on the African continent.
In Kenya, one Global Hunger Relief project served more than 650 people, helping them survive during the height and ongoing impact of the pandemic. Many pastors received support.
“At the beginning, pastors were not thought of because people thought that pastors would not be affected by the closed businesses and lack of food,” said one pastor in a report submitted about the project in Kenya.
“The truth is, I could not pay rent after three months of the pandemic – my business and my church were closed,” he continued. “My landlord kicked us out, and we moved in with another pastor. Please continue to pray for us as pastors – and our children and churches – because we know that prayers work. We are so grateful for you! Bless you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.”
Send Relief ministry partners delivered more than 65 pounds of food and necessities to each family, which included resources like beans, rice, greens, oil, sugar and soap. Many of the recipients were pastors’ families who were struggling to keep food on the table after several months with no work, no tithes and little community support.
“When we saw someone who heard our cry and sent these food packages for us, we were so happy and knew the Lord will forever continue to bless you and be with you.” said another recipient.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for remembering us. Since the time COVID-19 came to Kenya, pastors have been the most impacted because most of us depend on tithes and offerings. All the churches in this nation were closed down. So many pastors, like myself, were rendered powerless.”
These pastors were eating only one meal a day to ration what they had left, and supplies were dangerously dwindling by the time Send Relief’s care packages arrived.
“Many of my pastors have moved from urban areas to rural areas because of the hardships,” said one note of gratitude. “Our worship centers were shut down, and many young pastors who relied on church income have been going to sleep hungry without food. Their children cannot go to school. Today, we are so grateful for your support, and we pray that God will bless you for the good you do in Jesus’ name.”
All the food was given in Jesus’ name, and many of the non-pastoral recipients expressed interest in learning more about the Gospel and requested to hear Bible stories. Six new Bible studies formed as a result of these food distributions.
Now, in 2022, conflicts like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have disrupted food and supply chains even further. An estimated 345 million people are near the point of starvation, a 25 percent increase from the beginning of the year before Russia invaded Ukraine.
According to one news report, Ukraine and Russia together account for a third of the world’s wheat and barley exports while Russia and Belarus are numbers 2 and 3 on the world’s list of producers of a key ingredient for fertilizer.
Conflict, displacement and global destabilization have led the malnourished population to grow for the sixth consecutive year.
Send Relief will distribute funds given to Global Hunger Relief through ministry partners to those in need. When famine or natural disaster strikes, gifts to Global Hunger Relief provide resources for missionaries and other ministry partners to give food during those times of crisis.
To learn more about Global Hunger Relief, visit globalhungerrelief.org. To give, visit this page.