Texas Baptist Hunger Offering and Disaster Recovery help bring relief during Ebola crisis


DALLAS - Through funding from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) and Restore Hope are sending food and supplies to areas that are experiencing starvation due to the Ebola crisis.

In Liberia and Sierra Leone, many farmers have contracted the Ebola virus and died causing farm workers to lose their jobs. In-country prices have escalated since less food is being produced.

CNN reported in a recent article that the number of Ebola cases could rise to between 550,000 and 1.4 million by January if there are no additional interventions or changes in community behavior, an estimate derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After communication with various organizations in mid-September, TBDR began taking action to partner with Hunger Offering and respond to the dire situation.

With a $20,000 Hunger Offering grant, TBDR has secured two 40-foot containers each filled with 44,000 pounds of prepackaged rice/soy meals donated by Convoy of Hope of Springfield, Missouri to be sent to Liberia. Each container holds 280,000 meals and together will feed over half a million people.

The supplies will be sent to the Liberia Baptist Convention, which will, in turn, direct local Baptist pastors to distribute the food.

Restore Hope, a Texas-based Baptist partner ministry that has 25 missionary personnel on the ground in Sierra Leone, is also partnering with the Hunger Offering and working with trusted church leaders and community partners to bring relief in the country.

With a $15,000 Hunger Offering grant, Restore Hope will help provide food, thermometers, antiseptic soap, water purification packets, Christian literature and Ebola prevention guides to orphan caregiver and widow households in Sierra Leone. It also goes to provide food supplies to the Hope Center, Agape Academy and Mile 91 Baptist Church, which are all helping vulnerable families including orphan caregivers, widows and extremely impoverished.

"We are thrilled that Texas Baptist Hunger Offering funds can be used to address this terrible situation in West Africa," said Ferrell Foster coordinator for the Hunger Offering. "Our Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery team is doing a great job of connecting available food resources with the need in Liberia through trusted partners, and Restore Hope is using its established relationships to address other needs.

"This is a Kingdom response, and our prayer is that Christ's name will be exalted in all that we do minister to the needs in West Africa.I encourage Texas Baptists to give generously through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering."

Gifts to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering the remainder of the year could continue to impact the lives of those affected by the Ebola crisis both physically and spiritually. The Hunger Offering has grown to be a major offering for sustaining relief, development, water and agricultural projects all around the world. To give, visit hungeroffering.texasbaptists.org.