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Why Aren’t We Doing More about Global Hunger? And What We Can Do.

Numbers are chilling. Challenges are constant. Reports are recurring. Causes are clear. Solutions are settled.

So, why aren’t we doing more about global hunger? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
Opportunities for engagement are overflowing. Organizations are plentiful with diverse approaches. Global Baptist relief and development entities are trustworthy.
 
So, why aren’t we doing more about global hunger?
 
Baptist officials are claiming poverty is their primary moral concern. Baptist organizations carry hunger alerts. Baptist meetings are marked with workshops related to poverty, ill heath and hunger.
 
So, why aren’t we doing more about global hunger?
 
We aren’t doing more because we have become lax about hunger education in local churches. We haven’t done enough moral education with folk who attend church every Sunday. We haven’t educated and motivated church members to become drum majors for a burly charity and a beefy social justice.
 
Prior to the early 1990s, World Hunger Day was a major moral education event in Baptist churches of the South. Since that time, hunger education initiatives have largely fallen off the church calendar. Bible studies aren’t conducted. Sermons aren’t preached. Educational emphases aren’t held. Offerings aren’t collected.
 
Baptists will do more about global hunger if churches study the biblical imperative to feed the hungry and to do justice, know about the network of opportunities and trust their leaders.
 
We, goodwill Baptists, have a global network that can feed the hungry, enable the hungry to feed themselves and remove the barriers that keep people poor and without choices. Paul Montacute, Baptist World Aid’s director, is deeply committed and highly competent. Les Fussell, director of Baptist World Aid-Australia, is a relentless advocate. Hungarian Baptist Aid is one of the finest groups anywhere in the world of first responders to natural disasters. Alistair Brown and his colleagues at BMS World Mission have a long-standing concern about poverty. Baptist leaders are at the forefront of the Micah Challenge.
 
What is missing is moral education in local churches.
 
One of the best ways to recover a special hunger education emphasis is by observing the Baptist World Alliance’s world hunger month in October.
 
If you are a goodwill Baptist, a supporter of the global Baptist family, a Bible-believer committed to caring for the least of those among us, an advocate for the biblical imperative of justice, then your church needs to have a special emphasis this October, supporting Baptist World Aid.
 
A fresh resource for such an observance is the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />BaptistCenter for Ethics’ 28-minute DVD “Always … Therefore: The Church’s Challenge of Global Poverty.” The DVD tells what global Baptists are doing often through Baptist World Aid.
 
Order the DVD and receive the pass code on the DVD to download a four-part Bible study for Sunday school classes. Click here to order.
 
The DVD and the online Bible study have four chapters: (1) Realism and Responsibility; (2) Relief; (3) Rehabilitation and Development; and (4) Renewing Justice.
 
The title “Always…Therefore” comes from Deuteronomy 15:11, which says: “For the poor will never cease out of the land. Therefore I [God] command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land.”
 
Hunger and poverty are entrenched problems that demand a tireless commitment from goodwill Baptists.
 
Will your church observe World Hunger Month in 2007?
 
Robert Parham is executive director of the BaptistCenter for Ethics.