hunger and poverty
Personal testimony compels Christ-follower to share hope with community
by Guest Author on April 5, 2019 in hunger offering
By Abby Hopkins
So often, the Lord uses the testimonies of His people to impact others with similar life struggles. For Elisa Valadez, whose story includes abuse, homelessness, and heartache, she knew she wanted to serve her community in this way to offer others the same hope she found in Christ.
Valadez began Pantry of Hope through First Baptist Church Laredo in 2016. Starting with a closet, the ministry opened the second Saturday of each month with food and clothing for families in the community to receive.
Texas Baptist Hunger Offering funds are used to purchase groceries for the pantry.
“It’s a blessing to have money come in that serves the community,” Valadez said...
Cows bring transformation for Macedonian communities
by Guest Author on March 7, 2019 in hunger offering
By Abby Hopkins
In rural, economically depressed communities in Macedonia, one cow can go a long way.
Macedonia Cow Bank is a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering supported ministry that aims to serve these communities by providing cows to local farmers and pastors. Jeff Lee, director of the organization, began the ministry when he was introduced to a local who wanted to farm.
“The purpose of the cow bank is to help other local farmers and pastors through loaning a cow to them so that they can help their own family, sell the milk, or give the milk/cheese/butter to the congregation,” Lee said.
Lee and other staff identify potential applicants, meet with them to ensure they will work and do the job, then provide a cow when the applicant is ready. Recipients then repay the loan by giving back the first calf.
Last year, a group of local pastors approached Lee and requested help. Macedonia Cow Bank gave the pastors six cows and have seen successful results. The pastors have started selling milk and have used profits for outreach in their communities....
King had the 'audacity' to be 'other-centered'
by Ali Corona on January 17, 2019 in clc
In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. declared:
I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up.
Merriam Webster’s Thesaurus lists shameless boldness as the best synonym for the word audacity.
Dr. King embodied righteous audacity as he proclaimed that every person regardless of race, country, or creed has the right to a full and healthy life despite the realities of oppression in the world.
Is this not the very essence of faith in Christ? Despite darkness, light wins. Despite oppression, freedom prevails. Despite hunger, people eat in abundance. The first shall be last. This audacious faith seems fitting for people who believe the God of the Universe became human in order to save the entire world from sin and evil.
In Texas, one in four children struggle with hunger. Our state ranks last -- 51st (50 states plus the District of Columbia) -- in terms of health care coverage. Thirty-one percent of Texans under 65 do not have health insurance and have barriers to adequate healthcare....
Rio Grande Valley ministry bridges education gap
by Guest author on August 14, 2018 in hunger offering
Education is a valued process of growth and development in pivotal years of one’s life, yet it is not always accessible. As a new school year begins, many are unable to afford the costs of learning...
Transformation in West Dallas: Hunger Offering gifts feed the hungry, promote holistic change
by Guest Author on June 22, 2018 in hunger offering
By Jaclyn Bonner
The traditional American narrative boasts that anyone can make it if he or she works hard. But the social systems and economic stratum one is born into can often exclude a person from having an opportunity to attain the “American dream.”
West Dallas denizens face a challenging situation. Generational poverty is commonplace in the 11 square miles of Zip code 75212. “More than one of every three families lives below the federal poverty level,” reports Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering ministry that has worked in the community for 75 years.
Unemployment in West Dallas is at 10.5 percent, double the Texas unemployment rate, and 45 percent of West Dallas households earn less than $25,000 annually. More than half of West Dallas adults did not complete high school. The average pre-K child has a vocabulary of 1,500 to 2,000 words, compared to the 5,000 to 7,000-word vocabulary of children living in more affluent Dallas neighborhoods.
Moreover, a health crisis, job loss, and/or family tragedy can drastically change a household’s economic status, creating food insecurity and leading directly to poverty.
In 2015, Elaine Rodriguez* took a medical leave of absence from her work. Dealing with health complications and less income, Elaine and her husband, Jacob*, members of Bill Harrod Memorial Baptist Church, had difficulty putting food on the table....
By This Everyone Will Know
by Ali Hearon Corona on October 26, 2017 in clc
His name is Pedro — the man on the picture. I had the pleasure of meeting him outside an industrial refrigerator on a bright Tuesday morning in Cerdanyola, Spain. Carrying a bright smile, cheerful disposition, and a box full of lemons, he jokingly asked my teammate to take a picture of him because the lemons were massive that day — an uncanny size.
Pedro and his wife have faithfully attended Iglesia Evangelica Bautista of Cerdanyola for the past 36 years. The church leads a weekly food ministry that provides groceries for about 50 people in need. Pedro has volunteered since the doors opened 20 years ago.
“As a Christian, it is...
A Christian response to hunger: How church ministry is distinguished from cultural trends
by Guest Author on July 24, 2017 in hunger offering
By Jaclyn Bonner
Lately, I have been thinking about culture and faith.
I just finished perusing Leviticus and am journeying again through Numbers. These two Old Testament books, perhaps more than other parts of the Bible, are challenging to read, understand, and apply. The meticulous law, the priesthood rituals, and the early history of the Israelites can seem archaic, mundane, and irrelevant.
However, I am discovering how much the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) emphasizes God’s desire for holiness. Holiness is to be set apart. It is to be separate from the world. However, holiness is not a call to negligence...
Strength and Dignity -- A Mother’s Day Prayer
by Ali Hearon Corona on May 11, 2017 in clc
Mother’s Day is fast approaching.
As you celebrate your mom or the important women in your life, be sure to pray for women around the world who struggle to support their families.
Pray for women who are hungry -- According to Bread for the World, nearly half a billion females around the world do not have adequate nutrition for healthy lives, that’s 60% of people who are hungry.
Pray for mothers facing financial adversity -- The Center for Public Policy Priorities reports 42% of single-mother families in Texas live in poverty impacting their ability to provide adequate nutrition and housing for their families.
Hospitality leads us to "make room" -- for God and others
by Ali Hearon Corona on April 25, 2017 in clc
Lately, God has been putting the practice of hospitality on my heart. Specifically the phrase “make room.”
What does it look like to make room in our lives? I feel compelled to first make room for God. Create space to rest in Him, dwell in His Word, and abide in prayer.
I am also convicted to make room for others -- to practice hospitality. For me, this looks like welcoming guests into my home and connecting with new friends who are different than me.
On a much larger scale, the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering allows me to “make room” in my life for people across the world.
Through the Hunger Offering, ordinary believers join...
Becoming Family: Professional development for women transforms lives, fosters relationships
by Guest Author on February 16, 2017 in christian life commission
By Jaclyn Bonner
If not for the Heart of Texas Christian Women’s Job Corps sign, you could easily overlook the modest, beige, and olive-colored house on Coggin Avenue in Brownwood.
CWJC is home to transformative learning opportunities and holistic development for women. Established in Brownwood in 2003, the mission of the Heart of Texas branch of CWJC is to “care, guide, and equip women in a Christian environment,” explained Casey Moore, the director. CWJC is a ministry of Texas WMU.
How does religious freedom affect starving children in Nigeria?
by Guest Author on November 22, 2016 in clc
By Randel Everett
The United Nations reports that an estimated 75,000 children could die from malnutrition within a year in Northern Nigeria unless food is made available. Members of our 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative staff have traveled to Nigeria twice this year, visiting camps where a million people displaced by Boko Haram and Fulani militants now live. We interviewed dozens of village leaders and victims of this violence, and we heard and saw for ourselves the reality behind the U.N. statistics.
What can we do to alleviate this suffering? One way is by giving money through reputable agencies that provide food for the...
Last 5th Sunday Hunger Offering of Year and New Video Released
by Ali Hearon on October 18, 2016 in clc
Good news! The new Hunger Offering video is now released and ready to watch.
“Texas Baptist Hunger Offering at work in Spain” highlights Iglesia Evangelica Bautista’s food pantry in Cerdanyola, Spain, a Hunger Offering ministry.
The video introduces Antonia and Pedro, a couple who struggled financially due to the Spanish economic crash in 2008. After receiving assistance, they answered the call to give back and serve their community on a weekly basis.
Hunger is a health problem for Texas children
by Guest Author on September 8, 2016 in hunger and poverty
By Betsy Kerrigan
Children today are being robbed of time. While academic opinions vary about life expectancy, they all acknowledge that our length and quality of life is shifting due to chronic illnesses associated with diet.
It is unfortunately no surprise that Texas children are suffering from diet-related disease at a higher rate (and younger) than they have in the past. The early onset of diet-related conditions like obesity is bringing about many health problems that children do not typically suffer, such as type-two diabetes and high blood pressure.
These high rates of diet-related disease are clearly related to the 26...
Afterschool meals important for students, and churches can help
by Guest Author on September 8, 2016 in clc
By Ruben Sanchez
The summer is over and school is back in session. In Texas, that means football is kicking off, temperatures are dropping, and many kids still don’t have adequate access to food.
In Texas, one in four children is food insecure. This means a fourth of the children in Texas live in households that may have to skip a meal or make a difficult choice like deciding between buying food or buying school supplies for the start of a new school year (a true story recently told to me).
Ensuring children have access to three healthy meals a day, seven days a week is a daunting task. Schools across the state are making...
CWJC builds confidence and self-sufficiency in Abilene
by Ali Hearon on August 31, 2016 in hunger offering
In 2014, Brandy decided to make a change.
“I really knew I needed to do something different after I accidentally took too much of a certain medication,” she said. “It should have killed me. That’s when my boyfriend and I decided to do something.”
Brandy learned about the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Abilene from a friend at her church who invited her to some of the job skills classes offered on a weekly basis.
The Christian Women’s Job Corps helps women make decisions to build self-sufficiency into their households by offering job and life skills training, community and emotional support. A ministry of Woman's Missionary...
Back to school nerves
by Ali Hearon on August 18, 2016 in hunger offering
My niece, Caroline, is two years old. She is precious and recently returned from her first day at preschool with a confession to make.
“I feel nerbus (nervous),” she told my sister on the car ride home. Caroline is a bright kid. My sister is, too.
Many unknowns await children as they walk through the threshold of a new classroom. New teacher, new classmates, new rules -- it is a daunting experience to say the least.
Everybody knows what it is like to be afraid of the unknown. Few things are as universally unnerving as the prospect of doing something new among people we’ve never met. Times like these remind us how earnestly we...
New Life In Christian Community - A Texas Baptist Hunger Offering Story
by Ali Hearon on May 18, 2016 in hunger and poverty
A baby shower seems simple. Gifts, flowers, laughter; the party is a time of preparation and celebration of new life and a growing family. Love and expectancy are the essence of life in Christ. And while this practice may seem commonplace to some, it can make all the difference for a new mom in a new country.
Dr. Samira Izadi Page knows just how impactful a baby shower can be for a refugee mom. As the founder and executive of director of Gateway of Grace, she throws her fair share of celebrations. Gateway of Grace is a Dallas-based ministry that provides services and Christian care for refugees from nine countries, including...
New Hunger Offering video released
by Ali Hearon on May 4, 2016 in clc
Good news! The new Texas Baptist Hunger Offering video is ready to watch and share!
This video provides an overview of the Hunger Offering, highlights footage of people impacted by Hunger Offering initiatives, and displays the gospel in action. Not to mention it has cool graphics created by my friend, Josef.
I recently ate at Whataburger for the first time.
I know. The Texans are shocked.
As directed by the accompanying party, I ordered a Number 1 meal with cheese. Admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience despite my initial reservations.
The total for my meal was $5.59. Feeding America estimates that a...
May is a time for celebrating and giving
by Ali Hearon on April 20, 2016 in clc
May is a month of celebration and gathering around the table. As we take time to honor mothers and wish our best to recent grads, several in our communities will face the reality of food insecurity. In Texas, one in six families do not know where they will get their next meal.* Globally, one in nine of our neighbors are malnourished.** Hunger is an overwhelming issue, but we may respond with practical hope.
When facing complex problems, I sometimes find myself feeling frozen by my own questions: "How can I make a dent...What type of food do people need or want?"
To others who may feel small before a giant need, I offer this bit...
Bono rocked the world 10 years ago with words about poverty, justice
by Ferrell Foster on February 2, 2016 in ethical living blog
Ten years ago today, rock star Bono delivered an amazing address at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, with President George W. Bush sitting nearby.
Bono, lead singer of the Irish rock band U2, said an encounter with a wise man had changed his life "in countless way, big and small." The singer said he was "always" asking God to bless his family, a tour, a song. "Could I have a blessing on it."
And this wise man asked me to stop. He said, Stop asking God to bless what you're doing. Get involved in what God is doing -- because it's already blessed. Well, let's get involved in what God is doing. God, as I say, is...
Waco ministry digging in the dirt with students
by Ali Hearon on January 12, 2016 in christian life commission
"In the garden you learn a lot about identity," Kaley explained, as we discussed World Hunger Relief's School Garden Project.
WHRI, in Waco, is a "Christian organization committed to the alleviation of hunger around the world" through sustainable farming. While WHRI, supported by multiple Baptist churches, has agricultural programs internationally, such as in Liberia, El Salvador, and Haiti, they also have projects here in Texas.
The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering is a long-time partner of WHRI. Currently, the offering supports the ministry's School Gardening Project in three local schools. The project is an afterschool...
Hunger Offering needs are still great
by Ferrell Foster on November 17, 2015 in christian life commission
Hungry people in Texas and around the world need your help. Giving through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering has dropped greatly this year, but the need has not.
People in poverty need your support now. November has a fifth Sunday, which many churches use to collect Hunger Offering funds. Also direct individual gifts to the offering are being promoted through a Thanksgiving Share-a-Thon. Give by calling toll-free (800) 791-1544 (English or Spanish) or give online at either hungeroffering.org or the Spanish-language site, ofrendacontraelhambre.org.
Through October, Texas Baptists have given $543,518 through the offering. That's a lot...
Cyclists weather storms to end hunger
by Kalie Lowrie on May 21, 2015 in news
When you are driven by a great cause, like working to end the cycle of hunger and poverty experienced by millions worldwide, a 500-mile bike ride seems a little more possible. Twenty-nine cyclists from across Texas, along with a few riders from Colorado and New York, joined together May 11-16 for the Sixth Annual Bike Out Hunger-Texas ride. This year, the team traveled from Boerne, near San Antonio, to Dallas with shared goals to raise money and awareness for hunger needs across Texas and around the world.
Funds raised by the cyclists were given to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, which supports 180 ministries worldwide through...
Refugee families adjust to life in the US with help of Houston ministry
by Leah Reynolds on May 4, 2015 in great commandment
Loaves & Fishes is a ministry actively seeking to alleviate hunger amongst refugee children in Houston. They receive funds from Texas Baptists Hunger Offering via the Union Baptist Association, which help the ministry in a variety of ways:
- Providing a hot meal for children on Saturday nights, when they do not receive a meal from school
- Keeping a stock of food items such as rice and lentils for families to take when food stamps run low
- Packing children's backpacks in the summertime with food
Margie Randall, retired IMB missionary, has a special place in her heart for children. Ever since God called her to help refugee...
Children in volatile community find hope and health through local ministry
by Kalie Lowrie on April 22, 2015 in great commandment
Open House Ministries is a ministry actively seeking to alleviate hunger and poverty in Homestead, Florida. They receive funds from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, which help OHM in a variety of ways:
- Providing healthy snacks for 70 students after school daily
- Teaching elementary-aged students about nutrition and healthy eating habits as they help grow vegetables in six community garden beds
- Interacting with youth and children through homework assistance, Bible stories, music, art, sports and computer training
Open House Ministries is a community ministry, which rose up out of needs following Hurricane Andrew...
Alfalfa concentrate and education help alleviate malnutrition in Mexico
by Leah Reynolds on April 14, 2015 in great commandment
Hands in Service Ministries (HISM) is a ministry that is actively seeking to alleviate hunger in Mexico. They receive funds from Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, which help HISM in a variety of ways:
- With travel and material costs to allow HISM to offer family garden courses
- To provide intensive gardening techniques for those in urban and suburban areas
- To help families to begin small animal production by providing quail, chickens and rabbits
- To set up one alfalfa-processing unit that is functioning on a weekly basis
- Will allow HISM to set up another unit in another community shortly
While out walking one day in...
The Cavalry Has Arrived: How the Federal Government Plays an Important Role in Protecting the Poor
by Kathryn Freeman on April 2, 2015 in culture
Have you ever heard the phrase "send in the cavalry?" It's a colloquialism, but historically its a military term for the regiment of an army that fights on horseback. The cavalry historically was the most easily mobilized unit of an army and men fighting on horseback were at a greater advantage than those fighting on foot. For one they had greater height and speed than their opponents on the ground and the improved mobility helped them outflank and overpower their opponents more easily. In the movies, the moment the cavalry arrives is usually the moment the enemy is overpowered and the battle ends for the good guys.
Well, this week...
Giving to Fight Hunger in the Midst of Lent
by Jordan Corona on March 5, 2015 in hunger offering
For many in the developed world, hunger is the sort of thing one may experience after skipping lunch. At least we call it hunger; sometimes there's a headache to go along with it. Real hunger makes a person unable to think clearly. Chronic hunger, according to the United Nations, is that point when the human body begins to break down its own muscle and fat to survive.
For some of us at this very moment, we are duking it out with carnality and all its snacky vices by fasting for the Lenten season, and that might leave us feeling peckish and contemplative by the day's end.
Fasting is good. It is an important spiritual discipline, no...
Texas Baptists loving neighbors through Hunger Offering
by Jordan Corona on January 15, 2015 in christian life commission
This month, the Christian Life Commission is set to distribute funds to 117 ministries throughout the state of Texas and more than 67 international ones through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering. That is a reflection of the generosity of Texas Baptists, an indication about the contents of their hearts.
Feeding people who don't have enough to eat and helping others to climb out of poverty is part of our obedience to Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves. Doing so in a way that maximizes the support we can offer to ministries working with hungry people is a Christian responsibility.
Financial support through the Hunger...