pure & genuine religion

I already loved Food for the Hungry. But seeing their work firsthand only made me respect and admire them even more. FH believes in child-focused community transformation. They measure the health of a community by the health of its children (I'm talking about physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological health). And then by meeting the children's needs, they empower and build entire families and communities.

Seeing what that actually means—meeting their staff, talking with children and families they impact, and hearing from leaders in the communities they serve—left a lasting impression on me.

FH does things right.

They focus on people, meet needs holistically, do things with excellence, and bring lasting change. And they do it all without fostering dependence.

They go in to each community with an end-goal and an exit strategy. They aren't there to be a crutch or even to provide hand-outs. They build capacity in both people and communities, leaving them self-sustaining and thriving.

I really was astounded to see the depth of Food for the Hungry's work. They have over 430 staff members in Ethiopia alone. Oh—and only two of them are American. Their staff are so loved in the communities where they work. Countless children and families raved to us about their FH social workers.

One woman, who cares for her orphaned niece, said, "God has brought Food for the Hungry to us. I have brothers and sisters, none of whom even gave a pen to help this child. But FH provides her school fees and supplies. Glory be to God, FH has helped us a lot."

FH runs as deep as it is wide, leaving a life-changing impact on individuals and communities.

One of their slogans is "We go to the hard places". And they definitely do.

We visited some remote villages that face seemingly insurmountable challenges. But FH is there, making a difference and working with the most vulnerable of children who live in inescapable poverty.

They are living out James 1:27—

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress..."

Let's live it out with them.

{Pictures by David Molnar, photographer extraordinaire and pun-master.}