USA (MNN) — There have been riots in the streets in Bangladesh and Egypt. Prices have soared 80-percent in Haiti. And in Africa, families are cutting back from two meals a day, to just one — if they can afford that. The global food crisis is upon us. Experts are calling it a "silent tsunami," and it could affect every country on every continent before it gets better.
That's why The Mission Society is providing training for missionaries in the field in agriculture. Larry Williams heads their Agra-Missions ministry, which is part of their Global Resources Team. Williams says, "If we can work to enhance the food sources and help people to do a better job in raising more crops, they can improve their economic situation, and they can improve their nutrition and have healthier families."
However, Williams says that's not all it's about. "The Mission Society's chief goal is to win others to Christ. Our motto at Agra-Missions is: 'First the bread, then the Bread of Life.'"
Williams says that doesn't mean they put a higher priority on the bread, but it does mean they don't use food to manipulate a decision for Christ. "We have seen in some instances that some people will say 'yes' to Christ when they think they're going to get something."
So, he says they try to gain their confidence by helping them improve production.
According to Williams, this type of ministry is an open door for the Gospel. "I'm working in some restricted countries that are some of the poorest nations on the face of the earth, and food shortage is a very series issue. We work to develop a system where 2 1/2 acres can completely feed two families and provide an income for them."
With the food crisis getting worse, Williams says, "We currently have more requests for countries than we have both personnel and finances. There are only two of us right now, so we're also looking for agriculture workers; we're looking for people to agriculture missions."