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On Our Cover A Mozambican mother looks intently at the metal scale to see if her child gained weight.

Contents Summer 2008

6:8 Magazine, Volume 8 6:8 is a quarterly magazine of Food for the Hungry that highlights stories of physical and spiritual transformation through the grace of God and affirms the role of partners and supporters in making a difference in the lives of the poor around the world. Platimum Award Winner, MarComm Creative Awards Award of Distinction, The Communicator Awards

President Benjamin K. Homan Vice President Matt Panos Sr. Director, Ministry Partners John Frick Executive Editor Greg Forney Managing Editor Rez Gopez-Sindac Senior Graphic Designer Lisa Leff Assistant Writer Dana Ryan Contributing Writer Michael Weaver Editorial Resource Heidi Hatch Contributing Photographer Kristin Brooks We welcome comments and feedback. E-mail us at: Or send them to: Food for the Hungry 6:8 Magazine 1224 E. Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 Phone: 480-998-3100 (Toll free) 800-2-HUNGERS Food for the Hungry thanks photographer and advocate Rodney Rascona for providing us with excellent photography. We also thank O’Neil Printing for their support in maintaining graphic industry standards at reduced costs, allowing us to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts and resources. Food for the Hungry is a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). Copyright 2008 by Food for the Hungry. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. This publication is in compliance with the FSC and is printed with soy-based inks.




3 Editor’s Letter 4 From the President

THE NEED FOR SPEED VS. A TIME TO WALK How we obsess about speed! And how we struggle when we are asked to wait.


Cover Story

A NEW BREED OF HEALTH CARE HEROES Food for the Hungry has adopted the “Care Group” model in its child survival programs in Mozambique – and the results are nothing short of miraculous.

8 FH News 22 Vision Partners

CHURCH WITH A MISSION Southland Christian Church, one of Kentucky’s largest churches, is big on reaching out to the poor and needy outside its walls.


Editor’s Letter

Recently I met with a friend who shared – with much joy and excitement – how he had drawn closer to the Lord, perhaps closer than he had ever been. This renewed relationship was made possible by a series of trials and tough times that still had not passed, but God, as He often does, was using these trials to give my friend a new perspective on his brokenness and his need for total and absolute submission to Christ. Being broken by God is not an easy experience. It is difficult and painful. But it is the necessary road God often brings us down in order for us to be less dependent on ourselves and more dependent on Him. Less prideful and more humble. And that’s when God can use us. That is a place where His power is displayed in our weakness. As Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Being poor in spirit and walking humbly with God is a lifetime endeavor filled with ups and downs. Likely the time we think we have attained it is the time our pride has puffed up and we have become self-sufficient. Other times when we are convicted of our pride, it is then we are most humble and honest before God. It is a paradox, how He calls us to die in order to live; to be empty in order to be filled; to walk humbly, so that He can lift us up. Walking humbly before God is something Food for the Hungry strives for as a ministry as we follow the God-sized vision to end physical and spiritual hungers worldwide. The magnitude of this vision is one that requires humility, and we recognize that it starts with our posture before God. We do not offer up excellent programs and 37 years of relief and development experience as our sacrifice to Him. Instead, we give Him ourselves and our ministry with the understanding that it is His power that transforms people and communities. His grace that overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles;

obstacles such as poverty, war, disaster, and disease. And we are grateful that He allows us to join with Him to walk alongside the poor and help them reach their God-given potential. This special edition issue – the summer 6:8 and fiscal year 2007 Annual Report – is filled with stories of God at work through Food for the Hungry around the world. This is made possible because of your faithful support in our ministry. We are so thankful you have chosen to walk with us as we walk with Him to end physical and spiritual hungers worldwide. Blessings,

Greg Forney Special Editor’s Note The summer issue of 6:8 is a little unique as we have combined it with our 2007 Annual Report. This allowed Food for the Hungry to save money in both printing and mailing, and on top of that, it was a fun, creative exercise to combine both elements into one publication. Now, for some reading instructions. In case you didn’t notice, there are two front covers. You decide which one you want to read first, but once you finish, you can turn it around and start the next “section.” At the end of 6:8 and the Annual Report – meeting in the middle - is a two-page spread focusing on our vision and mission. GREG FORNEY is executive editor of Food for the Hungry’s quarterly magazine, 6:8. He is also Creative Services director at Food for the Hungry’s U.S. headquarters located in Phoenix. You can email him at

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from the president

THE NEED FOR SPEED VS. A TIME TO WALK How we obsess about speed! And how we struggle when we are asked to wait. By Benjamin K. Homan Food for the Hungry President and CEO

Do you have the need for speed?

Perhaps you recall one of actor Tom Cruise’s famous lines in the movie “Top Gun,” where he played the role of a fighter pilot. “I have the need for speed,” the actor says with the intensity of a substance addict. Yet the BEN HOMAN character played by Cruise is not hooked on drugs or alcohol, but rather on the rush that comes from flying jets at mach speeds. God’s people can often adopt a “need-for-speed” mentality. We can fall prey to wanting good ministry to happen faster than the pace that God may choose to work. Don’t get me wrong. God can accomplish anything He wants, at any speed He wants. He is not limited by time; in fact, He is outside of time. Yet, fallible humans that we are, we can so often speed ahead of God’s arguably “slow” pace. We often rush forward, inadvertently embracing a “need-for-speed” mantra. Pizza companies measure their efficiency by how many minutes it takes to deliver a pepperoni-deluxe to your doorstep. Airlines measure on-time performance. We order “fast” food. We want the “express lane.” And the principle extends to so many areas of life. Yet, how often God works at a different pace and on a different time grid! His people wander in a desert wilderness for 40 years – and that’s after a 400-plus year stint in the land of Egypt. God promises a Savior in Genesis 3, but it takes a few millennia before the Redeemer is even born. God’s people are carried off into exile for decades and generations at a time. God completes His Scriptures one book at a time across a span of centuries that would have exhausted the patience of any human editor. No publisher would have waited for such an Author so oblivious to writing deadlines. A few years ago Rodney Stark, a social sciences professor at Baylor University, wrote a book called, The Rise of Christianity: A Sociologist Reconsiders History. In the book, Stark discusses Christianity’s undisputed advance from being viewed as an obscure, tiny Jewish sect to eventually becoming the official




Food for the hungry president and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin K. Homan (far right) walking with tribal leaders in the snowy mountains of Afghanistan.

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It is this patient Lord who graciously calls His people to respond to the gripping needs of hunger and poverty. He invites us to make an impact – at His pace, not ours. religion of the Roman Empire. Granted, the phenomenal growth took a few centuries, but it is a historical fact that such a journey of growth took place. Stark asks probing questions, such as “how” and “why.” Using limited fragments of demographic data, such as census estimates, Stark claims that Christianity must have grown at an annual pace of around 3 percent across the Roman Empire. Only 3 percent! Still, the impact of compounding, year-after-year, decade-after-decade 3 percent growth spanning centuries eventually overtook the Empire. Why didn’t God advance His kingdom faster? We can ask Him that question in heaven, but, for now, simply note that God, who is capable of bringing 30 percent growth or 300 percent growth and more, chose a different pace, a slower speed. It is this patient Lord who graciously calls His people to respond to the gripping needs of hunger and poverty. He invites us to make an impact – at His pace, not ours. He longs to use us in His amazing plan of extending love to people in need. God’s use of imperfect human beings ought to clue us into the notion that He is willing to work at a slower, “less efficient” pace. It is hard to know why, but the reality is before us even though we may lack full understanding. God’s patience is amazing – and it is wonderfully demonstrated by His entry into this world, born as a baby in Bethlehem. Think of how the very God of all creation slowed down to walk this earth with us. God’s decision to send His own Son to this world to walk among us and to give His life has had a transforming impact on Food for the Hungry in so many ways. One very significant impact has been to infuse our identity with a desire to imitate Christ’s relentless refusal to give up. In short, we want to be passionately patient. In fact, we have woven this concept into Food for the Hungry’s mission statement by beginning it with the key action verb “to walk.” Our mission is “to walk with churches, leaders and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God and His creation.” In following that mission, we seek to accomplish our vision: “God called and we responded until physical and spiritual hungers ended worldwide.”





Food for the Hungry believes passionately that, by God’s grace, our impossibly audacious vision can be realized as we walk in obedience to our Savior in applying a very expansive definition of the word “WALK.” For example, “To walk” with other people calls us to:

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Treat people with value.

This provides a basis for solid, healthy intimacy and knowledge of fellow journeyers as well as an intentional desire for a relationship of close proximity. When someone asks you to take a walk with them, it is often an expression of an interest in a deeper union. The people with whom we are called to walk are image-bearers of God and are to be valued, appreciated and treated as such.

Recognize ministry is a process.

In walking, one does not immediately arrive at the destination. In the same way, transformation in a person’s life or in the life of a community usually does not happen in an instant. As one of our training manuals states, “Process represents movement in a given direction, not arrival at some pre-determined level or finalized state.”

Engage in a dialogue, not a monologue.

There is adaptation, and there is conversation and exchange. Yes, the relationship proceeds forward, but in a side-by-side manner, a partnership.

Reflect our Savior’s values.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus walked with His disciples. Of course, it was the chief mode of transportation in that day. Yet it was God’s choice to enter history at such a time when walking was the chief mode of transit, a time when Jesus could move from place to place while conversing with His followers about the truths of God. Also notice that Jesus chose not the chariot or the horse. He chose not a position of power or even speed.

A young Bangladeshi girl from the Horijon community practices her writing skill. Through the literacy initiative of Food for the Hungry, hundreds of children in Bangladesh can have a hopeful future. Photo: Kristin Kawa Brooks

At Food for the Hungry, we take “walking” seriously. And, by God’s grace, we also want to take it with humility, noting the prophet Micah’s reminder to “walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8). As Food for the Hungry walks with churches, leaders and families – and as we walk with you, we pray that God will grant us the ability to identify with people where they are at and to draw near them. The practical reality is that we are called to serve in nearness to other people, removing barriers that impede communication and intentionally seeking means that promote close relationships. All of this walking and drawing near takes time. It is not fast. It is not a way to break land-speed records or fulfill anyone’s need for speed. But it is a way to advance the love of God. Slowing down does not mean giving up. Instead, it means that we are more purposeful, more determined, more stubborn, and more insistent about accomplishing an amazingly impossible vision: God called and we responded until physical and spiritual hungers ended worldwide. And, yes, our mighty and stalwart God tells us that we can get there from here – as we walk with Him at whatever pace He wants. 9




FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY News aid to kenyans in wake of election violence


FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY HELPS FIGHT SEX TRAFFICKING IN PHOENIX Food for the Hungry’s commitment to “go to the hard places” hit close to home in the spring of 2007 when Patrick McCalla, senior manager of City Initiatives, and Jami Fiedler, City Initiatives coordinator, learned about the human trafficking taking place in Phoenix. Local women and children are lured or forced into a life of sexual exploitation with little hope of rescue. In Phoenix alone there are an estimated 100-150 pimps, and the average age of a prostitute is 13, according to the vice squad of the Phoenix Police Department. To help end this injustice Food for the Hungry joined a network of concerned individuals including government officials, undercover police officers, churches, and a group of believers that has formed a nonprofit organization to combat domestic trafficking. In February, McCalla spoke to students at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, encouraging them to take a stand against child sex slavery. As a

facilitator, Food for the Hungry’s involvement also resulted in greater coordination among local parties as well as the creation of a documentary. The documentary, which exposes sex trafficking in Phoenix, is titled Branded. According to McCalla, many prostitutes are literally branded by their pimps as a sign of ownership.While the dark reality of Branded is tragic, the film also offers a message of redemption. “It’s the redemptive idea that Jesus comes to make all things new – that Jesus brands us with his name and with a new life,” says McCalla. The goals of the documentary are to promote awareness about sex trafficking in Phoenix,to change legislation regarding prostitution and, ultimately, to build a safe house for rescued girls, operated by local churches and faith-based organizations. Branded was released in April 2008. Go to for details on when the DVD will be available.

NAIROBI, Kenya – Dissent over December’s national elections led to largescale violence in many parts of the country, leaving nearly 1,000 dead and 300,000 homeless. To address immediate relief needs, Food for the Hungry worked with the National Alliance of Churches in Kenya to provide food, water, shelter and medical supplies to more than 12,000 people living within Nairobi’s slums. For updates on Food for the Hungry’s relief efforts, visit relief_blog

Kenyans receive food and other supplies in the midst of political unrest.

earthquake shakes china’s sichuan province On May 12, 2008 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit central China about 60 miles from Chengdu, Sichuan’s provincial capital. Tremors were reportedly felt in distant Thailand and Vietnam, and the earthquake was followed by 44 aftershocks. Food for the Hungry joined local partners to respond to emergency needs in severely affected areas. In the first few days following the Earthquake survivors receive water, blankets and other emergency supplies. earthquake, Food for the Hungry staff worked with




partners to assess the situation on the ground in four hard-hit communities and to distribute food and drinking water to victims, many of whom were left homeless, orphaned, and/or hospitalized. After the initial response, Food for the Hungry focused on helping to facilitate emergency medical teams by providing medical equipment and supplies, which remained in short supply due to overwhelming demand.

golf tournament raises funds • short-term teams in bangladesh • earthquake in china


Food for the Hungry held its annual golf event on February 29-March 4, 2008 to raise funds for impoverished communities around the world. United by a desire to make a difference in the lives of the poor, 44 golfers from the United States and Canada gathered together in Phoenix for the five-day event that raised $778,000. Golfers teed off in Phoenix at Lookout Mountain Golf Club and in Scottsdale,Ariz., at Desert Mountain Golf Course and Ancala Golf and Country Club. The weekend included a golf clinic and rounds of golf with PGA professional Scott Simpson, winner of the 1987 U.S. Open. Phoenix Benefits sponsored a million dollar hole-in-one contest and a million dollar putting contest on Monday. Baillie Lumber and ProSweep also served as major sponsors of the fundraiser. The money raised will support Food for the Hungry’s work in helping needy families become productive and selfsufficient members of their communities.

conference explores integration of faith and development

To learn how you can participate in next year’s golf event, contact Jack DeGrenier, tournament director, at or 800-2-HUNGERS ext. 1133

opportunities to serve in bangladesh

seed fairs help refugees, families

The recent civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resulted in many families losing their livelihoods and homes. Food for the Hungry is helping the refugees by distributing seeds for both planting and eating. Food for the Hungry sponsored “seed fairs” in the DRC’s Katanga province, benefiting 4,500 families.The day of the fair, Food for the Hungry brought together local produce growers and the most needy families in the community. Each family received vouchers to purchase seeds of their choice. At the seed fair, each family also received beans, corn, peanuts, potatoes and onions, a hoe to till the land, and a “seed protection packet” to ensure that families have enough food to eat between planting and harvesting time. The seed protection packet contains corn, peas, oil and salt.

Food for the Hungry began working in Bangladesh in 1971 to provide relief following Bangladesh’s war for independence. Food for the Hungry’s work has since transitioned into community development with a focus on teaching savings strategies and character development to impoverished communities. Recently, short-term teams have been invited to be a part of Food for the Hungry’s work in Bangladesh by serving in schools and villages. This October, a female-only team will visit communities in Bangladesh for 15 days. To learn how you can participate in a short-term team with Food for the Hungry, please visit

words to live by Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. – Psalm 90:14

Many women in Bangladesh are being empowered through the teaching of biblical principles.

Food for the Hungry and George Fox University are co-sponsoring the “Transformational Development Conference” to be held August 14-16, 2008 in Newberg, Oregon. The conference hopes to bring together a broad interdisciplinary group of participants to explore a biblical and holistic vision for Christian development.

The conference plenary speakers include Dr. Bryant Myers, professor of transformational development at Fuller Theological Seminary; Dr. Evvy Campbell, associate professor of intercultural studies at Wheaton College; and Dr. Brian Fikkert, Director of the Chalmers Center and associate professor of economics at Covenant College. For more details or to register please visit www.





leeland partners with food for the hungry

Leeland, a Grammy-nominated melodic rock band out of Texas, has announced its partnership with Food for the Hungry. “I’m so excited that we have the opportunity to be partnering with Food for the Hungry. Bringing hope is something I want to be a part of,” says front man Leeland Mooring. Leeland looks to Philippians 3:14 for motivation and believes that the Kingdom of God can be expanded by showing the love of Jesus to the world. In partnering with Food for the Hungry, Leeland will help bring Christ’s hope to impoverished children, families and communities worldwide. Thousands of music fans across the United States will be given the chance at Leeland concerts to sponsor a child. “I can’t wait to see how God will use Leeland to transform lives,” says Jeff Miller, director of Food for the Hungry’s Artist Program. “They are exceptional men of God whose hearts reflect their Maker.Their hearts hurt for their suffering brothers and sisters around the world, and they live out God’s mandate to help widows and orphans.” Leeland is currently on tour with Casting Crowns. Their second CD, Opposite Way, hit stores in February. For more information on this partnership, visit or www.

HEALTH PROGRAM LAUNCHED The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has one of the highest child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa; more than 200 children out of 1,000 die before they reach age five. Most children die from hunger-related causes, including malnutrition, as well as preventable diseases. Food for the Hungry is launching a health program in the DRC’s southeastern province of Katanga to combat malnutrition. Malnourished children are being identified in villages in the province of Katanga. Once identified, the mothers of the children will receive flour fortified with essential vitamins




and nutrients to promote healthy growth. Pregnant mothers will be offered training on proper pre-natal nutrition and the health benefits of breast-feeding. They will also learn about the importance of nutrition throughout a child’s life.

Luis Noda (left), FH/Bolivia country director, stands next to California’s Assemblymember Alberto Torrico.

Food for the Hungry meets with california latino caucus The California Latino Legislative Caucus hosted a breakfast reception welcoming Food for the Hungry at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. At the invitation of Assemblymember Alberto Torrico, director of majority affairs, Food for the Hungry staff Luis Noda, country director for Bolivia, and Matt Panos, vice president of ministry partnerships and resources, attended the reception to introduce Food for the Hungry and its work with the poor in Latin America. Following the presentation, various caucus members stepped forward to offer support by connecting Food for the Hungry to Latino radio and television in California and to leaders in their home districts. The assembly also discussed taking a vision trip to visit Food for the Hungry’s work in Latin America in the near future.


sara groves joins food for the hungry

“Hope stands in defiance” is the message recording artist Sara Groves shares through her new CD. And in her new partnership with Food for the Hungry, Sara will bring this message of hope to thousands of fans across the United States and to one special community in Rwanda. Sara’s passion for Rwanda was sparked in 2005 when she visited the east-African country with International Justice Mission and Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church. “It was life-changing,” says Sara. “I began to hear God’s voice [telling me] about the good use of my life.” The experience caused Sara to begin seeking ways to help the people in Rwanda. “I believe God invites us to add to the beauty of his plan, letting us participate in his redemptive work,” says Sara. “But I found myself asking, ‘How have I applied this idea?’ I had groomed and groomed and groomed my personal faith, but to what end?” By partnering with Food for the Hungry, Sara will put this faith to work, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves. At her concerts, Sara will tell the story of Gisanga, Rwanda, a community still bearing scars of the 1994 genocide and populated largely by orphans. Sara will share her own experience in the country and encourage the audience to sponsor children in Gisanga. A mother herself, Sara hopes to inspire other mothers to reach out to the needy children in Gisanga. “When I look out on suburban moms, I see a latent army,” she says. Through her partnership with Food for the Hungry, Sara is determined to increase awareness about the needs of children and families in Gisanga. In 2009, Sara and her husband, Troy, will lead a short-term team to Gisanga. Anyone may apply to be part of this team. Learn more by visiting

Equipping child-headed households in rwanda Rwanda is home to more child-headed households than any other country in Africa due to the 1994 genocide and the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Children in child-headed households are particularly vulnerable to poverty, abuse, discrimination, and lack of health care and education. Food for the Hungry began working with child-headed households in southern Rwanda in 2005. Beneficiaries received household items, adequate shelter, health insurance and small farm animals. In addition, Food for the Hungry offered emotional support and vocational training, while encouraging participants to become active community members. Food for the Hungry also partnered with local leaders to promote Christ-like leadership and help them recognize and

To help yound heads of families like Lydia and Selaphine care for their siblings, Food for the Hungry has given them goats and livelihood training.

meet the needs of the most vulnerable in their communities. In February, Food for the Hungry celebrated with dozens of vocational training graduates. Graduating students received sewing machines or tools

for carpentry, and financing to begin their business endeavors. In return, the graduates presented poetry, dances, and dramas retelling their experiences and struggles prior to the program in celebration of their progress.





Globally, approximately 50 percent of all HIV-positive people are female.

rebuilding a community


Peggy Bilsten and Benjamin K. Homan, Food for the Hungry president and CEO, meet with a government official in Indonesia.


Immediately after the tsunami struck, Peggy Bilsten and some FH staff traveled to Indonesia to assess the devastation.

Bilsten receives an award from Food for the Hungry, represented by Senior Director, John Frick.

Bilsten meets with women groups.

Bilsten meets with government leaders.




After the devastating tsunami engulfed Asian shores on December 26, 2004, a team from Food for the Hungry, joined by then Phoenix councilwoman, Peggy Bilsten, traveled to Indonesia to assess the damage. Following the trip, the City of Phoenix made a 10-year commitment with Food for the Hungry to help rebuild the community of Meulaboh, Indonesia, through a partnership called “Rising to Help.” To raise awareness and funds, a luncheon was hosted in 2006 by the City of Phoenix and local businesses. The luncheon became an annual event with videos and presentations highlighting the previous year’s progress in Meulaboh – from basic rebuilding of structures, to the development of good government

practices among elected officials. Early this year, the third annual “Rising to Help” luncheon focused on the progress of Meulaboh, but also included recognition of Bilsten’s service during her term as councilwoman, which ended in December 2007. Close to 150 people attended the event, which was held at the Bentley Projects in Phoenix. Governor Janet Napolitano spoke about Bilsten’s work helping people throughout Phoenix and around the world. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, followed with a message about volunteerism and the power to make a difference. Then Food for the Hungry presented Bilsten with an award, honoring her determination to work for change.

phoenix councilwoman recognized • myanmar cyclone • help commission briefing

Food for the hungry field staff attend harvard university conference Maria Quezada, program manager for Constanza region, from the Dominican Republic, and Evariste Habiyambere, director of research and development, from Rwanda, represented Food for the Hungry at Harvard University’s 2008 “Bridge Builders” International Conference. Organized entirely by students, the conference aims to contribute to a dialog between theory and practice in international development. The conference brings innovative pioneers or “bridge builders” from around the world to share their successes in fostering positive social change. Earlier this year, the 12 participants were in Cambridge at the Kennedy School to share with each other and with the Harvard community via forums, panels and seminars. Quezada, who has mobilized projects and initiatives in communities for more than 17 years, participated on a panel discussing community development. Habiyambere, who has achieved success in attaining grants to create associations that span religious, familial and clan categories, participated on a panel exploring post-conflict/reconstruction.

A more effective foreign assistance program means more food and aid for the poor around the world.

president bush thanks help commission On Feb. 12, 2008, Benjamin K. Homan, president of Food for the Hungry, joined with eight members from the HELP Commission (Commission for Helping to Enhance the Livelihoods of People Around the World) at the White House in an in-depth briefing of President George W. Bush and his National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. In fulfillment of their congressional mandate, the Commissioners reported on their recommendations for enhancing and leveraging the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance. A one-page summary presenting the Commission’s findings was followed by discussion on such issues as: foreign assistance budgeting, the role of private enterprise, trade policy, restructuring of the State Department, coordination of foreign assistance programs, and increased engagement by the American people in foreign assistance. At the outset of the meeting, the President stated his interest in foreign assistance reform; he thanked the Commissioners for their work and said, “I came to this meeting because I want you to know how important this matter is to me and our country.” The President was fully engaged in the discussion, asking pointedly, “What can we do in the next 11 months?” and “How can we make some changes?” The Commissioners present were bi-partisan, representing both Republicans and Democrats.

FH RESPONDS TO CYCLONE NARGIS Category 4 Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar on May 3, 2008 making landfall in the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region southwest of the capital city, Rangoon.The storm tracked inland, striking Rangoon with 130 mph winds and dumping large amounts of water. Widespread devastation complicated relief efforts, but the greatest challenge to foreign relief organizations

was limited access to Myanmar. The death toll rose daily and tens of thousands of people without adequate shelter and food faced disease and starvation in the aftermath of the cyclone. Food for the Hungry collaborated with partner organizations and local contacts to bring medicine, medical supplies, food, and building materials to affected individuals.



Evariste Habiyambere and Maria Quezada.

Cyclone Nargis moved across southern Myanmar, leaving a trail of death and destruction.

By actively partnering with in-country organizations, Food for the Hungry is able to provide food, water and health care assistance to many survivors of the cyclone.




cover story

By Michael Weaver




Food for the Hungry has adopted the “Care Group” model in its child survival programs in Mozambique – and the results are nothing short of miraculous. (Editor’s Note: The following is a condensed version of an article written by Michael Weaver. To obtain the full version, please send an e-mail to

Under the shade of a leafy mango tree, mothers and their

babies wait patiently for health workers to set up their metal scales and wooden measuring boards. It is evaluation day in this village of Mozambique’s Sofala Province, and these mothers are hoping for high scores for their infants and toddlers. To score well on this test means more than prestige. It means more than pride. It could very well mean survival. “Here! Here! Get a photo of that,” an outside observer is instructed by Joao, a health care educator with Food for the Hungry-Mozambique. Joao has spotted a young boy, naked on the measuring board but for a thin twine tied around his waist. It’s a “chithumua” or “amuleto” as the colonial Portuguese used to call it. Distributed by village shamans, its purpose is to ward off illnesses and evil spirits.

The boy with the chithumua belies the growing progress among many Mozambican women who are embracing proven nutritional practices and sanitation changes in their battle against childhood disease and malnutrition. While the traditional healer still has his place in this ancient culture, mothers are turning increasingly to a new “expert” in their midst: themselves. Since 1998, Food for the Hungry has adopted the “Care Group” model in its child survival programs throughout Mozambique. Based on the premise that neighborhood mothers know their communities best and are able to reach far more households than a single health professional, Care Groups are indeed yielding marked improvement in child survival and health. To date, child mortality has plummeted 94 percent in the districts of Mozambique where the Care Group model is used in their child survival programs. Healthy behaviors such as breastfeeding and vitamin A distribution are up, and the prevalence of diarrhea and malnutrition are showing steady declines.

A mother hoists her baby to the metal scale. In this village in Mozambique, mothers are learning to properly care for their children’s health and well-being.

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How Care Groups Operate

The Care Group model began in 1995, the brainchild of Dr. Pieter Ernst of World Relief. By 1998, Food for the Hungry had adapted the model in two districts of Mozambique’s Sofala Province. Ernst’s approach was to develop a simple method for collecting information in surroundings where so few volunteers could read or write. Crafting a system that would include a minimal amount of paperwork and yet provide for solid results reporting, Ernst developed the Care Group approach. At the center of the Care Group structure are volunteer mothers responsible for 10 to 15 households in their respective villages. These women are the conduit through which Food for the Hungry staff channel their teaching, and through whom information and monitoring are returned to the trained health professionals on a regular basis.




Village households with children 5 years old and younger are identified and grouped into blocs of 10. In Mozambique, the targeted communities were selected beforehand through evaluations with the advice and assistance of the government’s Ministry of Health. One volunteer mother is selected – often elected – to be the lead mother who will commit to visiting her assigned households once every two weeks. These visits will include detailed instruction on the lesson that the volunteer mother received earlier from a Food for the Hungry staff. Every two weeks, a bloc’s volunteer mother gathers with nine other volunteer mothers – the Care Group – for training on a specified health topic. The volume of each biweekly lesson is kept to a simple and understandable length, so that beneficiary mothers – those who will receive visits from their volunteer mother – are not overwhelmed with too much information.


Many mothers in Mozambique are now equipped with practical and biblically based health training that benefits their children and the entire community.

The volume of each biweekly lesson is kept to a simple and understandable length, so that beneficiary mothers are not overwhelmed with too much information.

A lesson on prevention of malaria, for instance, might begin with basics on the ways malaria is spread and what its symptoms are. Two weeks later, volunteer mothers who have since met with their 10 households return to their Care Group for Lesson 2 on malaria, perhaps learning how to teach preventive measures. A third training might supply each volunteer mother with new picture books and flip charts for her use in households – especially effective in communities with low literacy rates – and might examine the traditional beliefs that have previously hindered effective prevention. Topics covered during Care Group meetings include breastfeeding; supplementary feeding; promotion of vitamin A food sources such as sweet potato and other vegetables; nutrition during pregnancy; immunization; sanitation and hygiene; managing diarrhea; acute respiratory infection; malaria; reproductive health and family planning; and HIV/ AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. At the upper levels of the Care Group’s pyramid structure are the paid staff who organize, gather and disseminate health care information to the volunteer mothers. Atop each of the four districts in Sofala Province that Food for the Hungry serves (Nhamatanda, Marromeu, Gorongosa,

Caia) is one coordinator. Each coordinator oversees some 10 health promoters, paid staff who live in their respective districts. Each of those promoters trains eight to 10 Care Groups, the gatherings of 10 volunteer mothers selected from their villages. A single promoter educates and serves 80 to 100 volunteer mothers, who in turn collectively reach up to 1,000 more beneficiary mothers and their households. With approximately 10 promoters working in each of the four districts, the Care Groups can then take credit for reaching nearly 60,000 households with critical health care information.





“We’re seeing better health care because of Food for the Hungry,” says Antonio Joase, a government official, as he watches the volunteer mothers dance and sing around two pots of bubbling porridge. It was not uncommon in these remote villages – where the nearest health post with a trained nurse is still several miles away – to see high rates of cholera, measles and diarrhea among small children. “Now,” Joase says, “cases of those diseases are much lower.” Mozambique does have a Ministry of Health, which partners with several Food for the Hungry projects, but observers agree that its staff is spread too thin to reach every Mozambican village. “There is no way the government could do what Food for the Hungry is doing,” says Sumaela Saene, an Assembly of God pastor who also holds a government secretarial post in his community.

Training the Volunteer Mothers

Care Group meetings, held every two weeks, lay the foundation for all the health information that will be passed down the line to each group’s 10 volunteer mothers, and from them to their 10 households each. Care Group meetings are facilitated by a health promoter assigned to each village. Promoters and the supervisors above them are paid health workers. At the top of the pyramid structure are district coordinators, who oversee two Mothers can now supervisors in their respective districts. Before the first Care Group meeting can easily identify when take place, paid staff must be trained and equipped by Food for the Hungry to go their child has a into the field and pass on their health information. problem. The training includes 10 basic health interventions such as nutrition and child feeding practices, diarrhea prevention and treatment, and immunization. Each intervention specifically addresses the cultural taboos and practices that health workers are likely to encounter in the field. These cultural barriers to health interventions can sabotage effective dissemination of information, and so Food for the Hungry trains its field workers from the top down on methods for addressing these taboos and effectively delivering life-saving lessons to villagers. As an example, many Mozambicans believe that newborn babies should not be given the mother’s colostrum. Modern research shows, however, that those first days’ milk from the mother is priceless as a source of protective immunities against disease. Food for the Hungry’s planned intervention, then, on breastfeeding specifically focuses on correcting the existing cultural taboo against colostrum.

What Happens in a Care Group Meeting?

Care Group meetings always begin and end in prayer. Central to this health delivery model is Food for the Hungry’s vision to help individuals and communities advance toward their God-given potential. Though Care Groups rely heavily on the expertise of medical professionals and health workers, their success is deliberately aided by each community’s spiritual leaders. From the moment Food for the Hungry enters a community with the proposal to institute a Care Group program, the organization makes an intentional effort to include church officials and community elders in its strategies. The strategy is two-fold: to bring the influence and talents of pastors into health-care interventions, but also to educate those pastors on key health concerns in their communities.





Freed from wrong cultural beliefs, this mother exudes joy and peace knowing that God takes an active role in her family’s life and health.

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Between trusted church officials and reliable health care workers, Sumaela Saene, an Assembly of God pastor, believes it is possible to change the worldview held by many Mozambicans. “When someone is sick, instead of running to traditional healers, we talk to them about bringing (the child) to health care,” he says. The agenda of a Care Group meeting is but one part of its vital purpose in spreading health information throughout a community. The ways in which that message is spread – through traditional, oral means of song, dance and storytelling – ensure that even the non-literate or lowly educated will be able to grasp and retain the important news on nutrition, disease and safe health practices. The ultimate goal of a Care Group meeting is to impart knowledge and teaching that volunteer mothers will take back to their villages. Flip charts are an effective way of providing visual aid in the teaching of health care behaviors. The social aspect of each Care Group meeting is both important and 20 SUMMER 2008


effective, especially in a culture such as Mozambique’s that places a high value on community. Thus, social interaction is a primary strategy in the biweekly Care Group meetings. Before departing their Care Group meeting, volunteer mothers will break into smaller groups and practice teaching three or four others the health message illustrated on the flip chart. Perhaps most impressive to an outside observer is the creativity exhibited by each Care Group in their near-spontaneous use of song and dance to teach a health message. What is astounding is to learn that these songs were made up on the spot by the attending women. The songs not only make for an effective teaching tool in each village household, but they also give the volunteer mothers a sense of empowerment. Their two-hour session complete, volunteer mothers are ready now to return to their villages. Over the next 14 days each will visit the 10 individual households in her bloc with the new health message.

In many villages, few mothers knew how to treat the high fever of malaria. The practice had been to treat a fever’s chills by piling heavier and heavier blankets onto the victim. Care Groups taught them instead to control the fever with cool water. Clara Luis and Laura Dia, both Care Group members, say they have seen remarkable and hopeful changes in their communities. Where they were once victims of chance to cruel diseases or beneficiaries of random and irregular visits by government health care officials, now they are active facilitators. “Now mothers can easily identify when their child has a problem,” Luis says of her neighbors. In the past, identifying illness typically happened only when a child reached the point of serious – and sometimes irreversible -- symptoms. As she speaks, she holds her 2-year-old son Lazaro as a Food for the Hungry worker reviews the growth monitoring numbers on the boy. Lazaro’s 11-kilogram weight

[ HEALTH CARE HEROES ] A Food for the Hungry/ Mozambique staff member rejoices with the mothers in the community for the high health scores of their children. Child mortality has plummeted 94 percent in Mozambican villages where Food for the Hungry works..

is 89 percent of median; his 85-centimeter height is a healthy 98 percent of median. The news is good.

The Work Has Just Begun

A promoter’s work is not done when the Care Group meeting ends. And, of course, neither is the volunteer mother’s. Promoters typically are the lead trainer for eight to 10 Care Groups. So as soon as one day’s two-hour meeting is concluded, it is on to another community and another Care Group meeting. In between the group meetings, which might last half a day, a health promoter is a presence in his or her community to monitor the visits of the volunteer mothers and to measure the success of the health intervention. No health intervention ultimately is valuable unless its results have been monitored and evaluated, and this, too, is the promoter’s responsibility. Every three to six months, the promoter conducts a survey of the knowledge, practice

and coverage that the intervention has achieved among its target population. These numbers – as well as monthly updates from each Care Group – are passed up the line of command to Food for the Hungry offices so that a more complete picture may be gained of the progress and the need for improvement in the child survival program. Growth monitoring gauges each child’s height and weight as indicators of potential malnutrition. For the volunteer mother, her work is just beginning as the Care Group meeting breaks up. For the next two weeks – until she gathers again for the promoter’s next health lesson – the volunteer mother will visit each of her 10 or so households, flip chart in hand. Some mothers pair up with another volunteer mother to visit households, and most adopt whatever schedule best fits their particular community. Though the “message of the week” is the priority as a volunteer mother enters a household, she is trained to be receptive to other

needs that a family expresses. The goal – and the effectiveness – of Care Groups is their flexibility and responsiveness to each individual community and each individual family.

For all of the time, energy and effort invested by volunteer mothers in the Care Group program, these women see very little compensation – at least in the traditional sense. They are not paid. Each receives a T-shirt emblazoned with the Food for the Hungry logo, and each usually wears it proudly to her Care Group gathering. Something keeps them committed‑, however, as dropout rates are stunningly low. In a culture that often devalues women, Care Groups elevate the responsibilities entrusted to these lay health workers and recognize their contribution. Pride and camaraderie are nourished; a sense of accomplishment is fostered. And it’s hard to put a price tag on that. 9





Southland Christian Church’s missions leadership team takes a break from doing construction work in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Southland Christian Church, one of Kentucky’s largest churches, is big on reaching out to the poor and needy outside its walls By Rez Gopez-Sindac

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Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Ky., has always been a mission-driven congregation, generously supporting numerous Christian missionary works in America and around the world. Recently, Southland took the time to refocus its missions program “so that we could do a few things well and have a greater impact on God’s kingdom,” according to Mark Perraut, missions director. Perraut says the refocusing of the church’s missions priorities meant reviewing partnerships with individuals and organizations – many of whom had been partners for many years – and disengaging with quite a few of them. “It’s hard to tell people ‘no’ when you know they’re out there trying to do their best and they’re serving the Lord,” says Perraut, “but if you get spread too thin, you can’t help anybody.” Perraut says when it comes to missions work, the priorities for Southland Christian Church are: church planting; teaching and training; and taking care of the poor, widows and orphans.

A time like no other With a more defined focus, inspired largely by Southland’s senior pastor Jon Weece, who served as a missionary to Haiti for four years, Perraut says “we are right now at a time like no other in the history of our church.” Perraut cites as an example the partnership of Southland and Food for the Hungry in Mozambique. “Never before in the 52-year history of Southland Christian Church have we supported a project at this level.” Perraut is referring to the church strengthening program that Food for the Hungry implements in Gorongosa, a district in Mozambique. The program was launched in 2001 to meet the need of local pastors for biblical training and leadership development. Pastor Tomas Zefanias, a Mozambican Bible teacher, spearheads the work and brings together many community pastors from various denominations. To help Pastor Zefanias with the task of equipping the local pastors for holistic ministry, Southland Christian Church commissioned a missionary couple, Stefan and Sharon Kern, to walk alongside church leaders in Mozambique and help them become more effective shepherds of God’s people. The Kerns were instrumental in laying the foundation for the church strengthening program. Southland supports projects not only by sending dedicated people to the mission field. In Mozambique, Southland also stepped up its financial support by committing to fund the church strengthening program in Gorongosa. Perraut visited the area last June and asked the people these questions: “What do you think your community needs?” “How can we help you?”

Missions Director Mark Perraut Southland Christian Church’s laboh, Indonesia. Meu of with the “camat” (mayor)

“How can we come alongside you?” “We never want to just give them a handout,” says Perraut. “Instead, we want to give them a hand up. Not just give them fish, but teach them how to fish,” he adds. Last May, the missions leadership team of Southland Christian Church went to Mozambique to see the progress of the church strengthening initiative through their partnership with Food for the Hungry. The team met with the district pastors and listened to their concerns. “It was a great time of learning and listening to what the Lord had to say about how we lead and how we are to be the best stewards of all He has provided,” says Perraut.The team also visited Food for the Hungry’s work in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Reaching the world around them Food for the Hungry’s partnership with Southland Christian Church started more than 10 years ago when the church adopted a community in Bolivia where Food for the Hungry works. Subsequently, Southland sent short-term teams to work on smaller projects in the community. The church also sent long-term missionaries, called “Hunger Corps” by Food for the Hungry, to develop programs that have a more sustainable impact. One exciting program is called Project REACH (Reinforce and Encourage All Children’s Hopes), an ongoing teacher-mentoring initiative in one of the communities in Bolivia. Ruby Owiny, a Hunger Corps who helped develop the program (with another missionary, Christine Knowles) was a member of Southland Christian Church. Southland also works with Food for the Hungry in Shangri-La, China, conducting a three-week English camp for children every summer. In Indonesia, Southland Christian Church supports a Food for the Hungry staff member who is in charge of the educational program. Southland’s involvement in God’s work in Indonesia began after a team from Southland and Southeast Christian Church (Louisville, Ky.) took a trip to the towns that were hit hard by the 2004 tsunami. “We went to see how we might be able to partner with Food for the Hungry in helping the people rebuild their communities,” says Perraut. “And we always ask

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the organization that we’re working with how we can help, because it’s the people on the ground who know what the real needs are.” Moreover, Southland is careful that all the communities they’re helping don’t become dependent on the funds that the church is giving. “Just like Food for the Hungry, we want people to develop solutions among themselves, and when we move on, they will be able to carry out the programs by themselves,” Perraut explains. As a result of the Indonesian trip and with the recommendation of Food for the Hungry, Southland decided to support the education program in Meulaboh, Indonesia. An offering of $271,000 in one Sunday was collected to help the victims of the tsunami. The education program involves teaching English to Indonesian children and helping them improve their literacy skills. “We’re just so thankful that the Lord allows us to be a part of His work in places where there is great need,” says Perraut. While Southland funnels a large percentage of its missions dollars into meeting needs in impoverished countries, it also makes sure that the physical and spiritual poverty in America is addressed significantly. Jon Weece, the 34-year-old senior pastor of Southland Christian Church, is very focused on doing

ministry outside of the church walls, loving people of all backgrounds and nationalities. Since joining Southland in the summer of 2000, initially as a teaching pastor, and then stepping up to the senior leadership plate three years later,Weece’s passion for the poor and the society’s outcasts has rubbed off on the members of his church so much so that volunteers have come up with ministries that intentionally and strategically serve the homeless, single parents, homosexuals, handicapped, undernourished children, and the elderly in Kentucky. Southland also works with an organization that helps the people in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. And recently, Southland planted a church in Bonney Lake,

ister; left) Chris Hahn, executive min Southland leadership team (from k Perraut, missions director. Mar and r; Jon Weece, senior ministe 24 24 SUMMER SUMMER 2008 2008

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Wash., where Perraut says there are less than 7 percent Christians. Every year, Southland Christian Church works with Food for the Hungry organizing and supporting golf events in Kentucky as well as in Phoenix. Money raised through the golf events fund many Food for the Hungry programs in developing countries. “Working together with an organization like Food for the Hungry allows us many opportunities to be in places of great need and helps us learn how to walk alongside the people in the communities,” says Perraut. “It just makes it more joyful, and we can help each other and do so much more and be focused on the same thing.” 9

Priorities for Southland Christian Church are: church planting; teaching and training; and taking care of the poor, widows and orphans.


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6:8 Sunday Engaging the Church to connect with God’s On October 14, churches around the U.S. will be educating heart for the poor

and challenging their congregations to get involved and make a difference in the lives of the poor around the world. Food for the Hungry Volunteer Advocates will speak in churches, set up displays and provide opportunities for people to learn about God’s heart for the poor. Host a 6:8 Sunday. Food for the Hungry has all the resources you need to host a 6:8 Sunday. To learn more, contact us at 1-800-2-HUNGERS. Visit us on the Web at

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Food for the Hungry

Meeting physical and spiritual needs worldwide

1224 E. Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 26 SUMMER 2008


You probably have heard the term “legacy giving” or “leave a legacy.” Leaving money to a charity through your will as an outright gift is the most common form of legacy giving; however, there are many ways to start your legacy.

consideration for charitable giving, especially when the potential tax consequences are considered.

Retirement Benefits: Retirement plans have gained importance as a primary source of income during the retirement years, making them a good

Other Investments: Insurance policies, stocks, trusts and other investments can also be used in your legacy plans.

Real Estate: Investment property, homes and other land assets can be used as a gift, maximizing your legacy impact and minimizing taxes.

Ending Physical & Spiritual Hungers: Through the generosity of friends like you, Food for the Hungry can continue to bring real hope and transformation to millions of people for many years to come.

Wayne Reinauer, Director of Stewardship Gifts

Learn more If you don’t have a will or you are unsure how to make a provision to Food for the Hungry, we would like to send you a copy of the “Plan & Prosper Resource CD.” Written by a leading estate attorney, this CD addresses the most commonly asked questions about wills, charitable life income plans, retirement planning and much more.

To receive the Plan & Prosper Resource CD, call (800) 248-6437 ext. 1103, or write to:

ATTN: Wayne Reinauer 1224 E. Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 DOING…LOVING…WALKING

2008 6:8 Magazine Summer Edition  

6:8 is a quarterly magazine of Food for the Hungry that highlights stories of physical and spiritual transformation through the grace of God...