By John Hall
First allow me to explain who we are. Our group is called Trinity/HOPE and our purpose is to raise funds and administer programs which provide a noon meal for the hungry and malnourished children who attend our schools in
We had attempted to start programs in this area before but for several reasons: funding, commitment of the local leadership, availability of the internet necessary for electronic fund transfers, email communications, etc. had all been factors in not being able to do so. In March of 2007 Alan Honea and I went to this area with one expressed purpose: To determine “once and for all” if we could start programs here, should continue to consider it as a viable area for the future or simply remove it from our list of areas to be considered.
When we arrived at the
But we also found these poor, improvised children had great faith. They had been told that the schools in the area were being considered for possible feeding programs. If they were to get one in the future that the parents and community would be expected to furnish the kettles, bowls for cooking and serving the food and water and wood for the food’s preparation. We were amazed to see that these children were coming to school carrying sticks of wood.
Alan and I looked at each other and we both thought of Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” We knew these children were going to be fed. We came home and Trinity/HOPE started raising the additional $40,000 needed to feed the four Lutheran Schools in the area. By the time school started, we had raised $21,000, trusted God for the remainder and started feeding the children. God not only blessed us with the funds needed; He provided enough so a fifth school could be added during the school year.
In March of 2008 Frankie Coleman and I returned. What a difference. All signs of malnutrition were gone. In fact the four schools had been a part of a Body Mass Index study by Bunny Pozehl, Ph.D. on our board of directors with some amazing results. At the beginning of the school year 40% of the children 4-6 year old were in the “at risk” percentile. After ten months of school and the daily meal provided by our feeding programs, the number of “at risk” children as determined by BMI had been reduced to approximately 10%. This is an awesome physical impact. (Picture—Caption—Healthy children enjoying their noon meal.)
The spiritual impact is fully as impressive. Our churches and their schools are doing an incredible job of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to their communities in
This is not only a tale of two trips; it is a story of changed lives. We thank those of you who are already supporters of our work to feed and FEED the children and invite those who are not yet a part to become involved. 100% of all funds we receive go to feed the children. Trinity/HOPE,