FMSC on Flickr
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:22-33)
“These days we feel like the disciples of the Lord in the midst of the storm, in the midst of a constant fear of being infected with the Ebola epidemic, which has spread rapidly throughout the country,” wrote our distribution partner Salesian Missions to FMSC of their work in Sierra Leone. “In the market places, the price of food is rising and some cannot be found.”
Feed My Starving Children has many feeding partners in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the location of the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Millions of FMSC meals were already on the ground and working in communities at the time of the outbreak. As the need grows, our partners are working closely together.
Here’s how our partners are fighting Ebola together:
- On August 13 and 20, our partners in Liberia met to pray and discuss their experiences with the Ebola outbreak. This coalition of partners called CROPPS Liberia (Coalition of Relief Organizations Promoting Practical Solutions) is a cooperative approach that can dramatically enhance relief and development activities. They report, “We discussed the need to educate people regarding Ebola. Many are overly fearful because of lack of information and instruction. Our hearts are passionate about sharing the Gospel in the midst of this critical time in Liberia.” CROPPS Liberia also discussed the best strategies for sharing supplies from one central point.
- Last week, FMSC was able to ship an additional 10 boxes of MannaPack Potato-D formula to our partner GAiN (Global Aid Network). These meals have been specifically requested by their partners in Liberia and will be placed on an emergency shipment along with other medical supplies to help assist in the Ebola outbreak.
- Our partners are working diligently to meet the food and medical needs of the communities where they work. Our partner ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa) reports, “Our health workers need prayer covering as they cater to Ebola patients. Please pray that our radio programs will be a source encouragement and hope during this time.”
These organizations are working in extremely difficult conditions, but there is still hope.
Salesian Missions continues, “But in the mist of this situation there are also profound moments and experiences of God. In the parish, every day about 230 young hearts come together. They have involved themselves in classes and recreational experiences. They educate the smallest ones in the assimilation of habits and action that can prevent the spread of the epidemic among them. During the experience the children receive a good plate of food every day, and in some cases lunch and supper.”
“Also with great joy we shared of the experience of people who have survived the disease, it is good to know that not all is death. Our dinners are longer. They are good time for sharing our joys, fears and sorrows in a nice atmosphere of fraternal life.”
“Please continue to pray for us and for all those who are in the battle against this terrible epidemic.”
FMSC will continue to support our partners in West Africa. To make a donation, please visit www.fmsc.org/donate.
On August 19 and 20, Feed My Starving Children had a very special meal packing event at Union Station in downtown Chicago, Ill. One goal for this event was to cause a ruckus in Chicago. As people passed by, all the hairnets and excitement got their attention!
(if video does not load, CLICK HERE.)
Volunteers packed at total of 564,192 meals. Thank you to everyone who participated including our sponsors.
To see where else we’ll be packing meals soon, please visit fmsc.org/mobilepack.
It was 4:30 AM Sunday morning when we arrived at the Minneapolis airport. Junior Obrand, FMSC Regional Program Coordinator for the Caribbean, Jon Zaugg, FMSC’s professional videographer, and I were embarking on a trip to Haiti. It always surprises me to see how many people are at the airport this time of the day. All going somewhere, getting from here to wherever “there” is for each of them.
Our first “there” in remote Northwestern Haiti to visit a longtime FMSC Distribution Partner Living Water Ministry (LWM). To get to LWM’s compound just north of Anse Rouge, we flew in a single engine plane operated by Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF). The flight lasted about 45 minutes and we were greeted at the very short dirt and rock airstrip by LWM staff. The next 10 miles took over an hour, one bump, muddy path and steep hill at a time before were arrived to our first “there.” LWM is situated directly on the Caribbean coast and is as beautiful as it is remote.
LWM started ministry efforts in this previously unreached area of Haiti in 1986. They serve over twenty small villages but concentrate the bulk of their work in six villages. LWM’s primary mission is to reach those who have never heard the Gospel and display God’s compassion by caring for their physical needs. LWM spends considerable resources on feeding programs and sustainable development activities that stimulate the local economy.
The village of Ti Anse is a small fishing village of about 250 people. LWM had done an informal survey of the village in the past and discovered that over 60% of the families had experienced the death of a child before the age of five. Malnutrition was thought to be the major contributor to that sad statistic.
The good news is that after utilizing FMSC MannaPack Rice and MannaPack Potato-W, the situation has, as far as LWM can determine, been remedied with no known deaths due to malnutrition. LWM, supported by FMSC donations, has accomplished this in this village and at least one other.
I often marvel at how those boxes of donor-funded, staff-lead, and volunteer-packed FMSC meals get to each of the “there” places. Northwest Haiti is one of the most remote locations on the island but each box arrives just where it is supposed to. I believe that each person in this eternal compassion chain has been called to be at their special “there” to accomplish the works that enable LWM and other organizations around the globe to eliminate the devastating effects of not having enough to eat.
In it all, His love and promises to His children are fulfilled creating that wonderful thing called hope. Not the hope that wards off dread, but the hope that fuels dreams and provides the necessary energy to get to the next place in this life’s journey.
“There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If it were not true, I would have told you. If I go and do that, I will come back. And I will take you to be with me. Then you will also be there where I am.” John 14:2-3