Article Jun 15, 2015

How you can help alleviate poverty

I have never missed a meal due to lack of access or finances. My almost perfect American childhood was full of hot suppers at the kitchen table, banana pudding at Grandma’s and Happy Meals. In my seven years of marriage, my husband and I have never even known unemployment. And judging by my baby’s chunk feet, no one is hungry in this house. It’s so easy to think this is the life experienced by everyone else. Most of us are pretty good at surrounding ourselves with people who are just like us and, honestly, are happy to keep it that way.

Yet, when I get glimpses into the realities for most people around the world and many in the United States—into their poverty, their hardships, their lostness—I am overwhelmed. Lately, the images and stories coming out of Nepal, where 2.8 million people have been displaced after the recent catastrophic earthquakes, cause me to feel helpless, saddened, guilty, but also thankful. Not thankful for my possessions and lack of suffering, although I am, but thankful because it snaps me out of my self-focused, small, middle-class American life for just a minute.

I am thankful for the stories shared by places like Baptist Global Response (BGR), IMB and NAMB. These stories show the devastation following crises, but more importantly, they show the hope of Jesus provided by those who serve faithfully in difficult times. South Asian people hear “with their eyes” the love of Christ during earthquake recovery. BGR workers delivered bags of rice to a forgotten village.

These stories call me to see the world as it is, to see with God’s eyes and God’s heart, and ask how I can help. If God is the giver of all of my good gifts, how can I honor him in how I use them? How can he use me to meet the needs of someone so different and so far away? While I spend my days feeding little people, how can I feed someone who is truly hungry?

For over four decades, Southern Baptists agencies have partnered together to feed the hungry around the world through an initiative now known as Global Hunger Relief (GHR). Because this ministry is done by our missionaries and church planters, every GHR project shares the gospel in both word and deed. One-hundred percent of every gift given to GHR goes directly to meeting hunger needs with no administrative or promotional costs.

Even though, today, God has called me to raise my babies and make disciples in East Tennessee, I am thankful I can partner with my brothers and sisters and make an impact around the world. Even when my world is small, and I’m talking a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old small, God can use my dollars to do amazing, life-changing work through Global Hunger Relief.

Watch this video for an update on GHR’s work in Nepal: