International (MNN) — Over 800 million people worldwide face chronic hunger. This weekend, you could help lower that number.
This Sunday, October 11 is World Hunger Sunday. World Hunger Sunday has been observed for over 30 years by the Southern Baptist church to raise awareness and funding for those suffering from hunger across the globe. Wendy Norvelle with the International Mission Board says the main prerogatives of the day are to raise awareness and to collect a special offering.
"It is a Sunday that's set aside for congregations across the United States to collect offerings and to focus on the hungry of the world, and connect people with the needs of the world," says Norvelle.
In Southern Baptist churches across the world, the offering given on October 11 will be put in the Baptist Global Response World Hunger Fund. Those outside of the Baptist church are also encouraged to participate via the internet. One hundred percent of funding raised will be used to eradicate world hunger. Norvelle says this type of funding has already been used in Kenya, providing immediate relief as well as resources to replant crops and sustain living for those affected by drought.
When food, medicine, clean water and other resources are distributed by means of the World Hunger Fund, they will not go unaccompanied by the Gospel. During distribution, recipients are told clearly about the Lord's love for them, and relationships are built to teach them more about Christ. IMB holds to the importance of providing for God's people with both immediate physical needs and spiritual needs.
"I think Jesus was very clear that not only are we to share with people the love of God in sharing about Jesus Christ, but we also are to meet the human needs that exist," says Norvell. "Really, you can't separate the two."
The money raised through this initiative will be distributed internationally, but nationally as well. Twenty percent of funding will go to help the hungry in the United States, while eighty percent of funding will be used internationally. Since food prices are high, it may be useful to have an idea of what kind of funding is needed. $50 will feed a family for one week in the United States; $80 will feed a family of six for a week overseas.
If you are not attending a Southern Baptist church this Sunday but would still like to fight world hunger, visit the Baptist Global Response Web site. Donations are accepted year round, not just October 11. Pray that the Lord would use this initiative to feed as many people as possible with physical food, and most importantly, with a relationship with Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.