World Hunger Day

Posted on October 5, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Rankin Connecting

One would have to hide their head in the sand to be oblivious to the fact that massive numbers of people in our world are dying without proper food and nutrition while multitudes subsist with chronic hunger. Currently 770,000 refugees in the Horn of Africa are literally suffering after years of drought have brought them to the brink of starvation.

What are we doing about world hunger? How do we respond to those in dire need whether from catastrophic disasters or in regions of chronic deprivation. Jesus had a lot to say about ministering to orphans and widows, feeding the hungry, and providing aid to the poor. He modeled the compassion we as His people–the body of Christ–are to demonstrate on a daily basis.

It is commendable that many churches maintain food pantries and clothes closets to provide for the destitute and less fortunate ones in their community. Many have been a part of disaster response teams following the destructive fury of tornadoes, hurricanes or floods across our own country or overseas. There are still teams going to Japan to minister and help rebuild peoples lives after the devastating tsunami a few months ago. After Hurricane Katrina, Southern Baptists were the largest responders after the Red Cross and Salvation Army; literally millions of meals were provided in the months that followed.

Where does the money come from when disaster strikes or our neighbors in China, Indonesia, India or Somalia no longer have access to food and drinking water? Response comes readily due to World Hunger Funds that have been given faithfully by Southern Baptists and others.  Whether channeled through the SBC, state convention, or given directly to the North American or International Mission Board, Southern Baptists are prepared to respond and, in doing so, often open doors to sharing the water of life in Jesus Christ as well.

Sunday, October 9, is World Hunger Day. This is the designated day when churches are encouraged to take a special offering for World Hunger. Although churches usually respond to specific disasters when they occur, and many give throughout the year, none should neglect the responsibility to contribute and provide the resources needed to cooperatively feed those who are suffering around the world. Funds are divided between the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board who have personnel in place to administer projects with integrity and accountability. This allows 100% of funds given to go toward the alleviation of hunger rather than a portion being diverted for administration.

A few years ago Baptist Global Response was organized to serve Southern Baptists around the world. Since many disasters occur in closed countries hostile to a Christian witness and restricted to missionary agencies, BGR has been able to represent Baptists as a credible organization for humanitarian aid. Information is available at and

Several years ago I received a call from a pastor who suspected that the IMB made up stories of suffering and persecution around the world in order to raise funds by appealing through photos of emaciated children. I don’t know what kind of world this pastor was in, but hunger is real; in fact, with the joblessness and unemployment resulting from the current economic climate, it is more widespread in our own country than ever before.

Someone described the situation in saying, “We live in a 911 world, but no one is answering the call. I pray that we will answer the call, respond to the need and provide the resources that are needed by giving to the World Hunger Fund.

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