International (MNN) — What if it were possible to provide a solution to world hunger, provide an opportunity for self-sustainability, spread the Gospel, and cost next to nothing?
The Global Aid Network (GAiN, USA) Seed Program is not far off.
"The vision behind the seed program was just to provide a more long-term solution to the hunger crisis and provide people in different countries around the world an opportunity to share Christ with their neighbor by sharing seeds with them," explains GAiN's Monica Timbie.
The program sends packages of seeds, called Harvester Packs, filled with a variety of crop-producing seeds across the globe. The crops harvested are meant to provide food for every family who receives the seeds. Any surplus can be sold to earn some sustainable income as well.
With every seed packet delivered, the Gospel is presented. 800,000 packages have been shipped in 2011 alone. In other words, at least 800,000 people have heard the Gospel message in the last three months.
The effects of providing a hunger solution which provides dignity as families harvest their crops are widespread. In The Gambia, an economic crisis mixed with flooding has resulted in crop failure and insufficient funds to re-grow. In a recent shipment of seeds to the country, though, Gambians were filled to overflowing with joy.
"The money for seeds was just not there anymore, so they had lost their ability to make a living. In that sense of hopelessness, the hope [provided by the seeds] just opened up the doors for people to be able to share and be able to see God's love in a practical way."
GAiN is actively showing God's love in this way in six countries: Gambia, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
As amazing as the opportunities GAiN has to serve the Lord and others in this way is the inexpensive cost of the program. Each Harvester Pack costs $3 to package, purchase, and ship. It takes just $3 to save a life with lasting physical sustenance and to introduce someone to the Gospel.
Churches can get further involved by hosting packing events. Most churches will raise money to send seed packages and then do the actual package for GAiN to prepare the packets for shipping. Churches near Pennsylvania can actually go to the GAiN distribution center to help. Find more information on these options here.