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On Our Cover kenyan women like Jalia are learning to understand and overcome the effects of HIV/AIDS.

Contending with hiv in kenya Partnerships for hope, healing and an end to a pandemic


Spring/Summer 2010, Vol. 13 6:8 is a quarterly magazine of Food for the Hungry that tells stories of physical and spiritual transformation by the grace of God and affirms the role of partners in making a difference in the lives of the poor around the world. 6:8 Magazine An Award-Winning Publication: • Evangelical Press Association 2010 Award of Merit 2010 3rd place cover photo 2010 2nd place candid photo 2009 Award of Excellence • MarComm Creative Awards Platinum Award • The Communicator Awards Award of Distinction President Benjamin K. Homan Vice President Matt Panos Sr. Director, Ministry Partners Presley Reader Executive Editor Greg Forney Managing Editor Rez Gopez-Sindac

From the President 4 Lament for Haiti An invitation into honesty, relationships and humility. 8 Biblical Stewardship 10 Food for the Hungry News 16 One at a Time From Darkness to Light Former captives of a rebel group in Uganda tell their stories of hope and redemption.

30 Vision Partners Church on the Give Challenged by the parable of the talents, a Virginia-based congregation puts faithful stewardship to the test. 34 Frontliners Championing HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention HIV program director, Kim Buttonow, gives insights on the fight against the pandemic.

Food for the Hungry

Motivated by Christ’s love, we achieve our mission using a three-dimensional approach: • Speaking out to all people and nations about God’s call to end physical and spiritual hungers. • Sending people to share God’s love. • Serving the transformation of communities.

Vision God called and we responded until physical and spiritual hungers ended worldwide.

Senior Graphic Designer Lisa Lewis

Mission To walk with churches, leaders and families in overcoming all forms of human poverty by living in healthy relationship with God and His creation.

Contributing Writer Eileen O’Gorman

Food for the Hungry 6:8 Magazine 1224 E. Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 This publication is in compliance with the FSC and is printed with soy-based inks.




Email: Phone: 480-998-3100 Toll free: 800-248-6437 Web:

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

Copyright 2010 by Food for the Hungry. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

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. Charter Member, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability; Member, Evangelical Press Association.


Editor’s Letter It strikes me as ironic that the person largely responsible for gathering and producing the stories of physical and spiritual transformation in 6:8 has such a story of her own that has gone untold to 6:8 readers. The few words I have to introduce Rez Sindac, managing editor of 6:8 and Food for the Hungry’s lead writer and editor, will not do justice to describe the quality of her work, her passion for walking with the poor and her character as a person. I know that you will be encouraged by her story of faith and determination and, ultimately, how God used others to walk with her family to overcome poverty. Her story is why

rez’s story

I hated poverty. I grew up in a remote town in the central region of the Philippines where electricity was rationed for a few hours a day and roads were merely piles of mud in the middle of rice fields. We had one school, one clinic, and the nearest source of clean water was a community well about a mile-long walk from my home. As a young girl, I fetched water almost every day. I balanced across my shoulders a long bamboo pole, on either end of which hung a metal bucket full of water. The road from the well to my house was steep and slippery, even in the summer. And I was clumsy. So by the time I got home, my buckets were dirty and nearly empty. No TV. No ice cream. Our battery-operated radio was a luxury, as were apples, which showed up on the dinner table only once a year on Christmas day. They were soft and bruised, the kind that had been on sale for days. Early on, I quickly discovered that being poor was not fun. Thus, as a young child, I envisioned breaking free from poverty. I dreamed of a future where my children would never suffer lack.They would never sleep on rickety floors or stand on their tiptoes trying to watch TV through a neighbor’s window. My parents shared my determination to succeed. They knew I had potential. So when a humanitarian organization came to my community to help families improve their living conditions, my mother rushed to stand in line. Soon, I was a sponsored child, as well as my younger siblings.

she speaks with conviction in letting our partners – people like you – know that your help makes a difference in ending physical and spiritual hungers worldwide.

Greg Forney Executive Editor, 6:8 Magazine

My parents heaved a sigh of relief. But I was ungrateful. I argued that the rich had a responsibility to care for the poor. Meanwhile, some things began to change. Community volunteers dug a well in my backyard. My mother learned how to grow mushrooms and knit gloves. And I heard the salvation story for the first time. Years later, I finished college, landed a good job in Manila, and got married. Yet God has accomplished far more than I could have ever imagined as a child. Today, I live in America and serve with Food for the Hungry – advocating for the poor in my homeland and telling stories of amazing physical and spiritual transformation around the world. It is hard to imagine all these blessings being possible in my life without the help my parents received many years ago. God used the generosity of others to help free me and my family from poverty. In the same way, God is using you to help create a new future for many impoverished children around the world. So on behalf of these children, let me say “thank you.” Thank you for caring.

Rez Gopez-Sindac Managing Editor, 6:8 Magazine P.S. I enjoy munching on fresh apples every day!




from the president

PHOTOS: Ryan Horn, Lindsay Branham




I felt torn as I went to Haiti.

The tragedy evoked hard memories of past emergencies. I have walked through an open graveyard in Indonesia’s tsunami zones, and I have seen terror in the bulletridden hospitals of Baghdad. In both cases, I found myself searching for elusive words to say in unspeakable situations. Haiti was no different. On my first morning in postearthquake Port-au-Prince, I glanced at the schedule prepared by Food for the Hungry staff. To my surprise, my name was listed next to “Staff devotions.” I winced. What would I say? What could I say? All around us was indescribable loss, the crush of debris, even the stench of bodies trapped in the rubble. In the dim morning light, I muttered a simple prayer: “God help me.” The day before, I saw many of the 337 makeshift camps that hold an estimated 550,000 displaced people. Children roved by themselves. Bed sheets hung loosely as roofs and walls. Desperate stares. Pancaked buildings. Twisted rebar. Rescue crews. And the vacant eyes of survivors. I donned a face mask to fight the terrible odor. A staff member recounted pulling 15 bodies from his collapsed apartment building. “I was 5 minutes from death,” he said, explaining how far away he was from his home at the time of the quake. “I arrived home to find the bodies of six sisters huddled in one place; they died together.” I fumbled through my Bible, hoping for God’s Spirit to speak to my soul. I arrived at the Old Testament book of Lamentations – written, scholars believe, by the “weeping prophet,” Jeremiah. A book about lamenting, I thought. That should do. From my bedside, I devoured all five very hard, grief-filled chapters of Israel’s defeat, devastation, captivity and exile. Questions streamed through my head. How do you process the intensity of Haiti’s tragedy? How does one understand the huge loss of so many people? I read the prophet’s words: “Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?” - Lamentations 2:13

Exactly, I said. As I tried to grasp the pain and suffering around me, I clung to three big ideas that gave comfort and hope – notions that I needed for my own sustenance – and which I also shared with our staff that morning. I have recorded an updated version of those rough ideas: Through Lamentations, God invites us to into honesty, relationships and humility. God invites us into honesty. As I read the pages of Lamentations, I was struck with the raw emotions and stark descriptions. “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.” - Lamentations 2:11 “…your children…faint from hunger at the head of every street….Whom have you ever treated like this?” - Lamentations 2:19, 20 “This is why I weep and my eyes overflow with tears. No one is near to comfort me, no one to restore my spirit. My children are destitute because the enemy has prevailed.” - Lamentations 1:16 “You, O LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long?” - Lamentations 5:19-20 As I read these rugged verses in Lamentations along with Psalms of lament, such as Psalm 10, I was struck by the emotional range and space that God’s prophet uses to lead others into lament. Is God really that big and expansive to invite His people to wail, to weep, to complain – and at times, even to lodge charges of abandonment on heaven’s doorstep? The answer is “yes.” God invites our honesty. He will

meet us on the “holy ground” of our expressed sorrow, our lament, and He is doing this in Haiti.Yet I am convinced, as I read Scripture and understand more of God’s amazing emotional depth, that the path of healing for Haiti must first route itself through grief. Lament cannot be healthily bypassed. God can deal with our brutal emotional expression – and beckons us to come close with all of our hurts. He wants to touch us and heal us at that level. God invites us into relationships. Lamentations was not written as a private journal or secret diary. It was inspired and preserved for a collective purpose in the life of God’s people. Indeed, it was written as a community document, in poetic form, that would facilitate a shared historical experience. It builds a lexicon of suffering, a model of how to communicate about epic loss. Yet while the Book of Lamentations at its most basic structural level strings together five poems that key off of Hebrew acrostics, the book trail blazes vulnerability with others and a group sharing of hard emotions. But the prophet does not stop at the transparent exposure of feelings. He also goes down the brave path of confession. “My sins have been bound to a yoke…” - Lamentations 1:14 “The Lord is righteous, yet I rebelled against His command,” - Lamentations 1:18 “The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim.” - Lamentations 5:16-17 After I shared my thoughts about Lamentations with our staff in Portau-Prince, I joined one of Food for the Hungry’s trained trauma counselors inside a wrecked Haitian church, with holes in the ceiling and crumbling walls. He distributed blank sheets of paper, pencils and crayons to each of these precious Haitian quake survivors. At a crude table, he invited the group to draw pictures




of their earthquake experience. Where were they? What do they remember? The group quietly drew – and then they spoke, wept and discussed. The community of quake survivors found a common voice in their drawings – and it allowed them to take an early step toward processing their pain and receiving God’s comfort – in the context of relationships. My own natural tendency when I return from disaster zones is to shrink away into private reflection. “Leave

Ben Homan and community leaders in Haiti share sentiments.

As I emerged from post-earthquake Haiti, I dedicated the better part of a day to talk with a friend who is a pastor and trained counselor. I shared what I saw and experienced in Haiti. I grieved for the man with mangled legs who dragged himself everywhere with his arms. I told of a restless, almost mob-like situation surrounding our distribution of health and hygiene boxes – and I felt graced with the restorative impact that flows from close relationships. One of my prayers for Haiti is that it will become a nation of “wounded healers” who bless and restore each other, in part, through the ability to express loss. In the context of relationships, we can remind people in pain that what Jesus said is true, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28). God invites us into humility. The prophet in the Book of Lamentations, thoughts and viewing the tragic events for the Hebrews, offers neither a pat answer nor a definitive stance to the “why” of suffering. He offers no explicit, onesize-fits-all philosophical statements on the problem of pain. To be blunt, the book affirms that suffering perplexes and that we lack God’s full perspective. The Hebrew reader at the time of the book’s writing would likely have been instructed in the Law of Moses and be familiar with Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” There are realities hidden from view. There are answers we do not have. In the life of my family, we have no clear understanding of why my wife has multiple sclerosis. My father and my wife’s father both died from the same form of cancer. One lived to age 86; the other did not reach 70 years. Why such different courses for the same diagnosis? We do not know. The complexities of

No one who is injured should bear the burden alone. “Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) me alone,” I sometimes think. Yet withdrawing from relationships is no path for restoration or healing from trauma. God grants relationships as a means of recovery from wounds. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn,” (Romans 12:15). We are invited in the community of faith to meet each other across our vast spectrum of both easy and difficult emotions. Of course, this has implications not only for folks who experience suffering, but also for those in close proximity. Sometimes, they must go in pursuit of a friend or loved one who is hurt. No one who is injured should bear the burden alone. “Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)




not knowing can be frustrating – yet we are allowed and even invited to struggle, wrestle and dispute. At the end of the day, mysteries and secrets remain – and starkly remind us of human limits. In short, the secret things of this world humble us. I am finite; God is not. And it is perhaps in this recognition of my shortcomings and limited view of reality that I can gain a larger view of the greatness of God. As we learn in Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God is great; I am not great. It is a humbling truth to which pain and suffering can bring us.

Jesus’ Lament

A reflection on lament cannot be complete without– acknowledging Jesus’ lament. Recall that desperate moment on the cross as Jesus completed His selfless act of redemption and sacrifice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus’ lament, which marks an amazing moment in redemptive history in which He bore the penalty of sin, was likely not in clear view of the writer of the Book of Lamentations or its initial audience. Think of it. The Creator God becomes human, bears our burdens and cries out in lament. Though the prophet Isaiah predicted the Messiah to be a “Man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3), the notion then of a suffering Savior was not fully grasped. Yet being a reader of the Book of Lamentations on this side of the cross, I can only stand in greater amazement and worship of God for entering our world of lament, suffering on the cross and truly becoming a “Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6) who meets us in our pain and binds up our wounds. As we pray for Haiti and as we connect with each other through our own lamenting, be reminded that lament also represents an invitation. Lament can be a part of our journey into honesty, relationships and humility. God meets us there in hard, but intimate communion. 9 Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

[ from the president ]

The recovery program led by Food for the Hungry supports the desire of affected families to stay in their home communities, re-establish routine and lay a foundation for further recovery. This approach will serve as an alternative to the large temporary camps being constructed for displaced people, which meet immediate needs but do not address long-term recovery.




Raising Our Standard of Giving God Prospers Us to Raise Our Standard of Giving, Not to Raise Our Standard of Living




That’s a bold claim, but is it borne out by Scripture? We invite you to examine the following samplings from Scripture, even study the passages from which they were taken, to determine if this claim is true. Let’s consider well what purpose the Owner of all has in mind for the assets He’s entrusted to our care… Luke 3:11 John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Acts 4:32, 34-35 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Romans 12:13 Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 2 Corinthians 8:7, 13-15 ...Excel also in the grace of giving. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” 2 Corinthians 9:8,10-11 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. James 2:15-16 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. (16) If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? It’s refreshing to interact with the Owner’s thoughts on prosperity, isn’t it? When we realize that the average American Christian enjoys an annual household income of $42,409, while 1.2 billion of the world’s poorest people survive on $1 a day, it’s also clear that the Owners thoughts on prosperity are certainly addressed to us. May we ponder anew what standard of living would allow us to raise our standard of giving. Excluding the introduction and concluding paragraph, content was excerpted from the Web site of Generous Giving (

MAKE YOUR FINAL GIFT A LASTING ONE One way we can “raise our standard of giving” is by formulating a will. It’s a simple step, yet one we can easily put off. When seen as an unpleasant chore related to death, it’s hard to be motivated to do it! When we, instead, come to see it as a way to make gifts that have a lasting impact on our family and on Kingdom ministry, then it is not difficult to get motivated. WHAT ARE THE STAKES? No matter how many material goods God has entrusted to your care, it is important to ensure they become gifts when you die: gifts for your children, gifts for a relative or friend in need, gifts for the ministries God has put on your heart to support. At the time of your passing, that’s the kind of lasting legacy you’ll want to leave – an amazing opportunity! Without a legal, updated will, that gift opportunity is replaced by less than optimal results. It opens the door for family conflict. It also leaves important stewardship decisions in the hands of a court to decide, which can result in higher taxes and fees. Certainly, that’s not anybody’s final wish. GETTING IT DONE Take some time to prayerfully consider your final gifts. Then make your wishes known by establishing a solid will or trust. If you’re ready to take that step, simply request our complimentary “Wills Kit” at 1-800-248-6437 ext. 1558. It will walk you through the simple 3-step process and make your final gift a lasting one. With You in His Service, Sean Mills

Sean Mills and Wayne Reinauer Planned Giving Coordinators

Contact us at: (800) 248-6437 ext. 1558 or write to:

ATTN: Sean Mills 1224 E. Washington Street Phoenix, AZ 85034





By starting a business making latrine slabs, these men are now earning additional income and promoting health and sanitation in the community. They are shown with Andy Barnes, Food for the Hungry director of food security (fifth from left, standing), and FH-Bangladesh country director John Marsden (background, right).

Keys to life: water, sanitation, health Drinking clean water can save your life. So can washing your hands with soap and clean water. Food for the Hungry teaches these practices to help children and families improve their health and reach their God-given potential. In Bolivia, elementary school teachers have set up a hygiene corner in their classrooms to reinforce their lesson on handwashing. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, women learn from mother-leaders in the community how to prevent water contamination by covering their water containers after they are filled with clean water. In Bangladesh, a men’s savings

group started a small business making concrete latrine slabs. Community members purchase the latrine slabs for home use because they are reasonably priced and of good quality. To further support these initiatives and to raise awareness among churches on the needs around the world for clean water, sanitation and hygiene, Food for the Hungry partnered with the “WASH for Lent” campaign during the weeks leading up to Easter. WASH stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. For more information, visit the WASH for Lent Web site: Also check out

raising funds for southern sudan

Smiling after completing the marathon are (from left) Jillian Van Ells, Leena Samuel, Dave Evans, and Daniel Brubaker.




Washington, D.C.-based Food for the Hungry staff members Dave Evans and Leena Samuel led a team in completing the Marine Corps Marathon to raise funds for Food for the Hungry’s education program in Southern Sudan. Evans, a member of Food for the Hungry’s global executive leadership team, lived in Chad for many years and has visited Southern Sudan four times over the past six years. “The children there have a special place in my heart,” says Evans. “An entire generation of Sudanese children was robbed of their right to education due to the 20-year civil war that wracked that nation.” Since 2005, Food for the Hungry has been

helping expand educational opportunities for children in Southern Sudan by building school facilities and latrines, providing educational materials, and forming parentteacher associations. These initiatives are made possible with funding from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. However, Evans says there is still an incredible need for investment in education in Southern Sudan. The team raised nearly $3,000. More information about the team can be found at – Leena Samuel, Food for the Hungry rehabilitation program officer

keys to life • sponsor supports surgery in bolivia • blessings of the poor study in burundi

sponsorship brings new life to bolivian boy

A community health worker interviews a mother of young children.

Study unveils rich blessings for the poor in burundi

Blessed are the poor? How? Why is it that even with desperate poverty, many children in poor families still grow fairly well? To explore this question, Food for the Hungry maternal and child nutrition specialist, Julie Hettinger, conducted a “Blessings of the Poor” study in Burundi to discover why some poor families have children who grow well. In this study, Food for the Hungry trained local staff and health workers to interview 94 mothers of young children in poor families. Mothers were asked how and what they feed their children, how they care for their children in their homes, and how they use health services. They were also asked about their worldview and other issues that may influence their children’s nutritional status. Some of the results of the study included: • Children whose mothers added salt to their meals were seven times more likely to have a good weight for their age. Children who consumed a local root crop, taro, were four times more likely to be well-nourished. • Children who were immediately put to the breast at birth were three times more likely to be well-nourished. (Immediate breastfeeding gives children a big immune system boost.) • Children who defecated in a proper place were four times more likely to be well-nourished. • Mothers who encouraged their children to eat even when they were not hungry were about three times more likely to be well-nourished. (Malnourished children sometimes have less appetite than usual, so active feeding is incredibly important.) Mothers can do all these practices with their existing resources – even most poor mothers. As Tom Davis, Food for the Hungry director of health program puts it, “This is good news for the people in these communities. And FH will walk with these communities, their leaders, and their families to help them adopt these new ways of living that bring life and growth.” – Tom Davis, Food for the Hungry director of health programs

Clemente Montaño, a young Bolivian boy, was born with an abnormal opening between his bladder and his umbilicus. Apart from leaving a nasty wound, which is at risk of continual infection, this condition carries a high risk of urinary tract and kidney infections and can also lead to cancer later in life. Clemente and his family visited many doctors, but none of them diagnosed his condition correctly. Clemente is one of 10 children, and the family was unable to afford appropriate treatment. At age 9, Clemente’s recovery seemed impossible; his family simply did not have the money for the necessary surgery. However, hope was recovered when Food for the Hungry and Clemente’s sponsor, Doug Scott, entered Clemente’s life. Doug lives in Phoenix and had undergone abdominal surgery earlier in life; thus, he felt empathy for Clemente. Shortly after meeting Clemente, Doug offered to pay for his surgery and all related expenses. With Doug’s support and the help of Food for the Hungry and several doctors, the surgery took place and was entirely successful. Doug commented, “When I saw Clemente with his illness it moved my heart and I said to myself God would not want this to continue when he has given us the ability to make a difference and that I should be used by Him to change Clemente’s story. This healing has transformed my heart and given me a reason to continue serving.” Today, Clemente is full of life and socializes with his peers without embarrassment or anxiety. Clemente remarked, “Now my life is different because I can play, study, and help at home. I have improved a lot in school. I am very grateful to my sponsor.”

Clemente MontaÑo (holding a toy) with his family and sponsor, Doug Scott. Doug lives in Phoenix and has been sponsoring Clemente since June 2008.




relief response in indonesia and philippines • levees needed in bangladesh • children sponsoring children

Villagers in Kalipara district rebuild fences as part of a Food for the Hungry food-for-work outreach.

fh-bangladesh appeals for repair funding

The United Nations reported that the flood defenses in Bangladesh, which were devastated by Cyclone Sidr, are still ruined. Cyclone Sidr swept across the low-lying areas of southern Bangladesh in November 2007, causing thousands of deaths, leaving $1.7 billion in damages, and displacing 2 million people. Food for the Hungry responded quickly, focusing on communities in rural areas. With projects ranging from rice distribution to home reconstruction, FH was able to help the people of Kalipara community at the time of their greatest need. But the Bangladeshi government estimates that more than 2,340 kilometers (1.2 miles) of defensive levees were lost – 46 percent of the total in the whole country. Farmers have been left watching salt water inundate their fields as the tide comes in, and while reconstruction of homes is possible, funding to restore the levees has been absent. Without such funding, Food for the Hungry has found it hard to provide the recovery assistance that Kalipara needs. “We’ve been pleased to help in Kalipara through generous support from the U.S. But now is the time to deal with long-term problems, to help the community overcome the risk of being knocked out by the next storm,” says John Marsden, FHBangladesh country director. “If we don’t give people the chance to fully recover and develop further, they will start out below zero every time.” – David Burton, FH-Bangladesh communications officer

with donor support and partnerships, Food for the Hungry’s outreaches in Mozambique help bring hope to many children and their families.

southland children sponsoring 1,000 kids in mozambique

Children sponsoring children.The idea came to the leadership of Southland Christian Church (southlandchristian. org) in Kentucky as a response to their vision of influencing the world for Christ. Southland has been partnering with Food for the Hungry in Mozambique since 2005 specifically in the area of church strengthening. However, at the close of the year 2009, the church added another focus: child sponsorship. Mark Perraut, missions director, said child sponsorship is one way through which the church can open opportunities for children in

Mozambique to build a better future. Southland has made available 1,000 sponsorship packets for its members. The idea, he said, is to let children from each age-level class (first grade through 7th grade) pick a boy and a girl that they will sponsor and with whom they will build lasting friendships. “Who knows better what’s going on in a little one’s mind except another little one?” said Perraut. “This is a great opportunity for us to start developing a global mission perspective in our children.” Southland mission teams go to Mozambique at least two times a year.


to: Meeting physical and spiritual needs worldwide

To learn more, please visit Food for the Hungry’s Web site at




poverty remains widespread in Mozambique, with more than half of the population living on less than $1 a day.


Relief Response

Indonesia: On September 30, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Sumatra province, killing more than 1,000 people. Food for the Hungry, in partnership with local churches and community leaders, provided relief assistance to ease the physical and emotional burdens for many families. Food for the Hungry set up two feeding centers run by a local church partner in affected communities. At these centers, more than 900 people were fed daily. Church volunteers organized the cooking and distribution of food, working together with their Muslim neighbors. A local church pastor spoke of how the feeding program provided their church an opportunity to reach out to the community and how their church building overflowed with new attendees as a result of the outreach. “We continue to praise God daily for all He is doing and for what is yet to come in the lives of the people even in the midst of this great tragedy,” says Scott Aminov, Food for the Hungry country director for Indonesia. “You can only imagine how our hearts are breaking to see people suffering to this extent and yet be powerless to respond. It is very humbling.”

Children enjoying their meal at a Food for the Hungry feeding center in Indonesia.

Philippines: Hundreds of thousands of families in the Philippines face a long and difficult process of rebuilding their lives after a series of typhoons struck the region beginning in late September 2009. Five Food for the Hungry child sponsorship communities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces were affected. Food for the Hungry responded immediately in these communities with food and non-food items, including toiletries, blankets, water containers, first-aid kits and clothing.Food for the Hungry provided schoolchildren with uniforms, bags, books, shoes and other essential items they needed to return to school. Food for the Hungry also trained families the “sodis” or solar sterilization method of disinfecting

drinking water, and worked with local volunteers from the churches to provide encouragement and prayer support to the affected families. A donation of emergency health kits were received from Medical Teams International and distributed to three local hospitals providing assistance to badly hit communities. The kits benefitted 10,000 people. Food for the Hungry also provided construction materials such as coco lumber, plywood, nails, galvanized iron, steel bars, and cement to 27 families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the typhoons. One woman whose family lost everything in the typhoons expressed her gratitude to the local church and Food for the Hungry in providing shelter and assistance. “We do not know how to start again but still grateful to God that we are alive…I know we will be on our feet again with the Lord’s help.”

relief award

Food for the HungryPhilippines country director Debbie Toribio (second from left) receives a plaque of appreciation from Department of Social Welfare and Development acting secretary Celia Capadocia Yangco. FH-Philippines is one of 24 organizations lauded by DSWD for its outstanding relief and rehabilitation work in the aftermath of typhoon Ondoy, which hit many areas of the Philippines in September 2009. Looking on are DSWD undersecretaries Alicia R. Bala and Lualhati Pablo.

words to live by “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” - Ephesians 2:10

To help alleviate the suffering of typhoon victims in the Philippines, Food for the Hungry distributed food items, non-food supplies and construction materials to affected families.





tourism opportunities opens in torotoro

The town of Torotoro in Bolivia is a paradise of natural treasures. And until the interventions of Food for the Hungry, it was also characterized by malnutrition, poor sanitation, lack of income opportunities, and little access to food and health services due to its remoteness. For more than five years, Food for the Hungry has been working to bring change to Torotoro by capitalizing on its rich natural resources. In collaboration with the municipal government, Food for the Hungry has helped open and develop various ecotourism attractions to create more job opportunities and increase local revenues. Food for the Hungry also helps protect the highly endangered red-fronted macaw, found nowhere else in the world. To date, 30 local guides have been trained, certified and recognized by the Torotoro National Park. Providing a source of income within the area reduces the need to abandon the community in search of work. In collaboration with the municipality of Torotoro, Food for the Hungry also has trained local people in business entrepreneurship and sanitation, as well as facilitated road repair projects so that the residents can bring their products to the market. – Caroline Burns and Marcelo Alvarez, Food for the Hungry-Bolivia

Herbert Calahuma and Victor Alcamani, trained and certified guides from the Torotoro Ecotouristic Guide Association.

Park guides and staff enjoy the beauty of Torotoro National Park. Food for the Hungry built this observation deck in partnership with the municipality of Torotoro so that visitors could enjoy the canyon’s impressive landscape.




Tourism opportunities in Bolivia • family and community transformation in bangladesh

operation sharehouse launched

On World Food Day last October, Food for the Hungry partnered with Raleighbased Stop Hunger Now and the Phoenix Rescue Mission to launch Operation Sharehouse in Phoenix. Operation Sharehouse provides an opportunity for volunteers from all over Phoenix to package high-protein, dehydrated meals for use in crisis situations and school lunch programs around the world. At the launch of Operation Sharehouse, volunteers learned how they could help end hunger through a holistic approach. Ray Buchanan, president of Stop Hunger Now, stressed the need for immediate relief through food provision and the Through Food for the Hungry’s Family and importance of creating safety nets like school feeding programs. He also encouraged Community Transformation program, women like Morjina in Bangladesh are learning new skills and biblical volunteers to host their own events in their churches, schools and workplaces. Food for the Hungry president and CEO, Benjamin K. Homan, introduced principles necessary to overcome poverty. another long-term solution through child sponsorship. By the end of the event, volunteers packaged 100,000 meals to be shipped internationally and donated over 200 pounds of food for local families in need. To learn more about the Operation Sharehouse program or host your own packaging event, contact Stop Hunger Now program coordinator, Bill Bailey, at The Family and Community Transformation (FCT) program, Food for the Hungry’s flagship or call (623) 242-2431.

FCT Outreach provides villagers a way out of poverty

outreach in Bangladesh, helps people to overcome their own poverty through education and savings groups. Biblical principles are taught, helping participants not only to start their own businesses, but also to live with wisdom and compassion. Morjina Begum is a participant in the FCT program. Married at 13, she didn’t have the knowledge and life skills to properly care for her three children. Her husband owed money from a microfinance loan company, and the collectors treated her badly when her husband could not pay. For a long time, Morjina and her family struggled to survive. The family’s situation turned around when Morjina became involved in the FCT outreach. Her son started receiving educational assistance Photo: Andrew Hulgan Volunteers packaged 100,000 meals to be shipped internationally and donated more than 200 pounds while she began learning how to save and run a business through a savings group. After a while, of food for local families in need. her group invested $150 so she could set up a shop. The shop has grown, and now gives her and her husband a steady source of income. Her husband sells the goods in the market while A picture taken by Charith Norvelle, Morjina runs the shop. They can now provide food and other basic necessities to their children a Food for the Hungry staff, was as well as send them to school. chosen one of the runners-up in a Morjina says she’s grateful for the work of photo contest hosted by Glimpse, a Food for the Hungry in her community because nonprofit magazine of National of which her life changed. “One day I hope I will Geographic. The photo contest be able to help other poor ladies of my village to challenged young Americans to help themselves out of poverty,” she says. Morjina and her husband are working hard and submit their best shots from abroad saving for their son’s college education. – David for a chance to win a $500 travel Burton, FH-Bangladesh communications officer

Food for the Hungry staff wins spot in magazine photo contest

Photo: Charith Norvelle LUMINO, Uganda – Using a big stirring stick, these women whip up a mean cassava cake, which they later distributed to people who came to mourn a death in the village.

voucher. Originally from Oregon, Norvelle participated in Food for the Hungry’s Go ED. study abroad program in Uganda, and while visiting a small village bordering Uganda and Kenya, she took pictures of village women making cassava bread. At the suggestion of a friend, she submitted an entry to Glimpse.

hunger statistics • Every five seconds, a child dies because she or he was hungry. • More than 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women. Source: FAO and The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2006




one at a time




Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay. – Psalm 40:17

Food for the Hungry

started its work of ending physical and spiritual poverty in some of the poorest regions of Uganda in 1989, focusing on child development, discipleship, agriculture, water, health and sanitation, and education. In the northern part of the country, a horrific civil war raged for more than 20 years resulting in some 200,000 deaths and 1.6 million people displaced. During the conflict, the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) captured, raped, impregnated and terrorized girls. Following the 2006 peace agreement and the cessation of fighting, tens of thousands of these girls (with babies in tow) escaped from or were released by the LRA. Deeply traumatized, they attempted to reintegrate into their former communities, but were rejected by friends and families. To respond to the massive needs of these “child mothers,” Janet Shaver, staff member of Food for the Hungry, along with Dr. Wendy Bovard, started a trauma counseling and life skills training in 2006 in Kitgum district. The New Life Center (NLC)

was established to offer a safe haven where the girls (up to 36 at a time) participate in a 12-week rehabilitation and biblically based counseling program, which includes social, emotional and vocational support. At the completion of the 12-week program, counselors trained by Food for the Hungry from within the communities are responsible for follow-up visits and ongoing counseling and care for the girls and their families. Food for the Hungry is also providing support through literacy and numeracy education, savings and loan groups, and livelihood opportunities. Through the NLC, thousands

of marginalized girls have experienced positive change and now function normally in society again. Many of them have embraced a personal relationship with Christ. Anne McCain, regional manager of Food for the Hungry’s advocate ministry, visited with the recent graduates of the New Life Center. Following are testimonies of some of the women as transcribed by McCain. Many of them had named their babies sad names like “Depression,” ‘Despair” and “God take this child.” However, after living at the NLC, they renamed their children “Hope,” “Joy” and “Trust in God.”

The new life center is a place of hope for many former captives of the Lord’s Resistance Army. At the NLC, these “child-mothers” receive biblical counseling, as well as training in literacy and life skills.




Sorrow has turned into joy for many women who received counseling and trainng at Food for the Hungry’s New Life Center in Uganda.

“when i was abducted, i only smelled death around me.” – beatrice JENNIFER: “I had bitterness; I had no hope. The NLC counselor helped me every day. I was so depressed and bitter. The counselor was always with me; she was very caring and would sit with me and just listen…and talk to me. The counseling process helped me a lot. When I came back to my parents after my time at the NLC, they saw the changes in me. They noticed a big difference. Before going to the NLC, I was bitter and angry all the time, now I am free and very happy. They saw that change. Before, I was not loving God, now I love God. At the NLC we were filled with the Word of God and had devotional time every day. We even prayed at meals 18



and studied the Bible during meal time. All of my family members now attend church and have daily devotions because of the change they see in me. Before going to the NLC, I did not know how to read and write. The NLC taught me how to read and write. I gained a lot of knowledge at the Center. NLC gave me start-up capital to start a business. Now I have a business and I don’t have to beg from my parents. Now I sell fish in the market, I plant crops that I sell as well, and I sell baked goods.” BEATRICE: “When I was abducted, I only smelled death around me. I was abducted to a terrible life. I thought of not living. When my dad died,

my stepfather was too poor to look after us. He beat our mother until she bled; he beat us, too, very violently. Once when he beat me I fled the house to escape from him, and the LRA rebel soldiers found me. I was held captive for three years. When I came home, I heard rumors that my stepfather was telling people he wished the LRA had killed me because he said I was a “worthless girl good for nothing.” So I escaped from my village with my younger sister. We went from church to church, looking for my mom because she is a Christian. She had left my stepfather. We found my mother in Gulu. In Gulu, I was received in a reception center [where women and children are brought after escaping from the LRA], and I received gifts. But my relatives took away my gifts. They also took my amnesty certificate… that’s why I missed all the

assistance given. I could not get assistance because I didn’t have my amnesty certificate. But I am here to testify that I am grateful to God. When I arrived at the NLC in Kitgum, I got all the things I was missing. And I am now full of hope. I benefitted from the counseling. In the community I was very lonely. At the NLC, I was taught many skills – baking, tailoring, even reading and writing. Now I am not ashamed of myself because I have all these skills. Today I can shine before you because of the NLC staff. When I was abducted, I was young. I was not even in school. But when I left the LRA, I could not go to school because I was too old. But now, because of the NLC, I can even read and write my name. I am very happy.”

[ one at a time ]

AGNES: “My dad was killed by rebels when I was still in my mother’s womb. I lived with my uncle, but he did not support my education because I was a girl, so I had to drop out of school. I had my first baby when I was 14. Food for the Hungry came and selected me from the community to go to the NLC. I got a lot of support from the staff. Before the NLC, I was really frustrated and I wanted to commit suicide. My NLC counselor helped me get confidence. I am happy with what took place in my life while I was in the NLC. Before the NLC I had not met the Lord. The NLC exposed me to the Bible and God. Now I have accepted Jesus as my Savior. Now when I feel sad I read the Bible and push aside all negative thoughts. My guardians have seen the difference in my life, reading the Bible and going to church. The skills I got now help me. I sell vegetables in the local market. Now I can stand on my own. I don’t have to beg.” NIGHTY: “Our culture does not provide information to girls about sex and pregnancy. When I went to school, in my 6th year of study, I was deceived by boys and I got pregnant at age 17. When I told the father, he rejected me and pushed me aside. I went to my parents. They became so bitter with me. They said harsh words and told me that they would not help me. My child’s name means “Trust in the Lord.” I was struggling to keep the child; no one would help me even when my child got really sick. I almost gave up because my father is a drunkard, and every time he came home he would abuse me and say harsh words to me. I thought, “If my child

dies I will kill myself.” My father told me I was useless. But I am grateful now. A Food for the Hungry counselor with the NLC came to my community. She introduced herself to me. She said “You need help because this way of living will lead to death.” The counselor came almost every day. She really loved me. For the first time in my life I felt loved and valued.

“before the NLC i had not met the lord. the nlc exposed me to the bible and god.” – agnes

When I reached the Center, I heard stories of other girls. Some of the stories were worse than mine. I realized I was not alone. Others had suffered too. So I started to gain confidence. Before I came to NLC I was very lonely. I stayed away from people because I thought everyone despised me. The NLC gave me confidence to speak in a crowd. I never would have done that before. Now I can. At the NLC I met people who really loved me. The staff was caring and loving. The NLC gave me life skills: tailoring, baking, mushroom farming. I fell in love with tailoring. I desire to keep pursuing that skill. At the Center I was taught the Word of God and taught to have hope. If we lose hope, we lose everything. So now I have hope in my life, for the future. At the Center, I had the

opportunity to study the Bible. The staff gave me scriptures to read, especially when I was discouraged. So now when I face challenges, I read God’s Word, and it helps me. At the NLC we were really cared for – we were given good food, good accommodations. Our children were cared for. I even got clothes. So when I returned to my community I was welcomed in a new way because I was healthy. Food for the Hungry gave me startup capital, and I started a business. I bought some goats and now I make some money. Now I even support my parents. I am very happy. I have become a leader, and I am a good leader. I can stand in front of a crowd and speak, no matter how big. I am bold and I have no fear. I am confident. I am happy. Now I am a very brilliant performer with the NLC drama group.” ROSE: “I thank God for bringing a lot of change in my life. I had a very bad experience in my life but I thank God for the miracle he has done. My mom died when I was a baby. I suffered when I was very young. I kept moving from relatives to relatives. Because of this type of life I was unable to go to school. I got pregnant at age 15. The father left after a few years. He left after I had two children. Now I have to take care of them alone. I thought about killing myself and my children, but I prayed to God for help. I am very grateful I met a Food for the Hungry who took me to NLC. I was welcomed and treated so well at the NLC. I pray to God always. I am now very happy. I learned new skills: baking, tailoring. Now I can support myself and my children. So I am very thankful.” 9

these women give thanks to God for how He has helped them overcome shame and fear.

One of the ways women at the New Life Center learn how to deal with their issues is through drama and plays.

Nighty discovered her potential and purpose, thanks to Food for the Hungry counselors and workers who lovingly and patiently shared with her God’s promises and the reality of His love.

Food for the Hungry supports the women at the New Life Center by helping them organize savings and loan groups. Photo shows a savings group conducting a regular meeting.




cover story

By Eileen O’Gorman Photography by Dana Ryan

A three-year drought broke in Kenya this past fall. As the skies opened to bring life-giving water one November afternoon, a group of women in the arid north stood outside a clinic singing. But they were not singing about the forces of nature or the end to their latest environmental crisis. They were singing about another threat to their lives, their children and community. In their song, they simply called it a “killer disease.” “This clinic knows the killer disease – HIV,” they said. As they clapped, they also cried out “HIV is like a horn honking – watch out!” These women also have met and know the killer disease. Whether they are infected or affected, they have heard a horn blaring. And as Food for the Hungry has walked in




partnership with this community, God’s vision for the poor and needy compels the ministry to respond – to face the killer disease and help the people understand and overcome its complexities and effects. The following stories offer glimpses into the daily journey of Food for the Hungry-Kenya’s partnerships to offer a compassionate, Christian response to the HIV crisis. The stories represent a larger effort that Food for the Hungry is enacting throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. From critical conversations with teenagers on prevention to support for orphans to medical treatment, Food for the Hungry stands and hopes with those who know this disease and seeks a time when HIV is part of a collective memory, instead of daily reality.

Kenyan women celebrate the opening of a community clinic and caution others against the threat of HIV/AIDS.

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clara robe (left), Marsabit-area HIV/AIDS program coordinator, speaks with community members during a celebration of the clinic’s opening. james kiguru (right), serves as the lead staff person for the Tumaini Clinic. The clinic specializes in HIV-related treatment, but also serves the community’s wider health needs.

Three hundred and sixty miles north of Nairobi, one can follow a brutal stretch of road to a town called Marsabit. For years the town’s remote location has led to under-resourcing and disdain. During the colonial period the larger area was known as Kenya’s Northern Frontier District. Today, the region is also referred to as the Northern Forgotten District. When a disease like HIV comes into a community that is already cut off, people do not have the resources that are readily available in other areas to face the crisis. But, through the vision of many, the town of Marsabit and its surrounding region has not been forgotten in the battle against HIV. On any given day, the waiting area is full for the Tumaini Medical Clinic in Marsabit, which boasts the bestequipped laboratory and staff for treating those who are HIV positive within a 100-mile radius. Tumaini means hope in Swahili.When Keith Wright, Food for the Hungry’s Africa regional director, speaks about the clinic, he does so with gladness and gratitude. “This clinic would not have happened without the Lord,” he says. “I have never seen something come together like this.” Wright and Shep Owen, Food for the Hungry’s Kenya country director, both remember a time not long ago when they were both convicted that the ministry was not doing enough to serve those who were infected by HIV. I asked myself, “Where would Jesus be in the midst of this crisis?” Owen says. The biblical images of Jesus touching lepers, ones who were outcast due to a deadly disease, were vivid in Owen’s mind. But, he simply faced the reality that few resources seemed available for Food for the Hungry-Kenya to respond. Over the next few months, a combination of events and individuals occurred to confirm for Owen and Wright that the Lord was making a way for Food for the Hungry-Kenya to walk more closely with those who are living with HIV. First, Dr. Aida Samir, an Egyptian doctor who had been deeply involved in HIV treatment in Kenya for 13 years, became available to join the Food for the Hungry staff, and her salary was amazingly provided. As the team led by Dr. Samir sought a course for ramping up treatment 22 SPRING/SUMMER SPRING/SUMMER 2010 2010 22

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[ contending with hiv in kenya ]

efforts, another unexpected partnership was born between Food for the Hungry, Blood:Water Mission, and the Anglican Church of Kenya.When Dan Haseltine, co-founder of Blood:Water Mission and lead singer for the rock band Jars of Clay, learned about the potential partnership, he says he was “inspired and humbled by such a profound dream.” The vision took on flesh and blood and bricks and mortar in Marsabit, where Food for the Hungry has been serving for more than 33 years and is woven into the fabric of the isolated community. Alongside the Food for the Hungry-Marsabit office was situated a struggling clinic with two staff members. The clinic was sponsored by the Anglican church, which had great vision and compassion, but struggled for resources. Today, the clinic’s entry hall smells of fresh paint. The aesthetic update is only one representation of a complete renewal of the clinic’s capacity to bless the surrounding community. Eleven medical personnel are on staff and ready to serve. Remarkably, these medical professionals come from more comfortable areas of Kenya, and have stepped into a context and culture that is foreign and challenging for them in order to seek the good of their northern countrymen. During a celebration to commemorate the clinic’s renewed and increased ability to serve the community, the local health minister emphasized that the clinic belongs to the people of Marsabit. Incorporated into the plan for the clinic’s renewal is a design to turn operations back over to the local church in five years. Standing alongside the health minister, the local Anglican bishop preached a short message to remind his hearers that because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, they can face tomorrow without fear. The treatment that the clinic offers includes anti-retroviral drugs and tests for T-cell count. Such treatment enables people who are infected by HIV to live productive lives, which most likely involves caring for young children who are at risk of being left orphaned and vulnerable if one or both parents die. In tandem with the clinic, Food for the Hungry facilitates a support group for people living with HIV to enable them to share each others’ burdens, receive necessary education and learn how to cope with their challenges—including infection by diseases that take advantage of weakened immune systems.The group is called Duran Dema, which means “Let’s Come Forward.”

Musicians from the band Jars of Clay join in a dance with Marsabit-area youth. Blood: Water Mission, an organization founded by Jars of Clay, has served as a vital partner with FH in contending with HIV in Kenya.

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[ contending with hiv in kenya ]

The Tumaini Clinic serves women like Dertu who was bedridden when FH staff first met her. With proper treatment, Dertu can live a productive life and care for her children.




The Tumaini Clinic also conducts testing for HIV and has weekly nighttime appointments to shield people from scrutiny in an area where stigma remains high. Regarding stigma, Food for the Hungry’s HIV program coordinator Kim Buttonow says, “Stigma complicates the issue of HIV even further and contributes to denial and finally death. For instance, if a husband or wife suspects he or she may be infected by the spouse, but is fearful of being tested there is no way the person can gain treatment.While one breach of the marriage relationship may have started this crisis, further broken relationships due to stigma and secrecy hinder a solution. Our goal is to work toward restored relationships and we meet people where they are.” Meeting people “where they are” involves complementing the work of the clinic in Marsabit with trained staff and volunteers who regularly visit community members in their homes. Staff and volunteers assess needs, and form local committees to care for those who are at risk. At times, even Food for the Hungry staffers who work with those who are infected and affected by HIV can face stigma and discrimination. Clara Robe, HIV/AIDS programs coordinator, says when she started serving in the area of HIV, family members said to her, “What comfort do you get from working with those people?” In spite of what she hears, Clara is full of compassion. She says she firmly believes that those who are facing the ramifications of HIV, whether the infected person or family members, are human beings with value. She adds that no one is “above” being affected by HIV. A treacherous road, a remote location, stigmatization, lack of water and, at times, electricity – any of these factors could have deterred this coordinated effort to fight HIV in northern Kenya. But, like the strong voices of the women who sang to celebrate the opening of Tumani Clinic, this effort is moving forward. In the words of one Food for the Hungry staff member, the ability to respond to the HIV crisis in this manner is both a “dream and a prayer.” For Food for the Hungry-Kenya, today is another day to pray for an end to the HIV crisis and hold on to a dream for a tomorrow free of HIV/AIDS.

Cecelia Kananu (far left) with leaders who are helping their churches care for orphaned and vulnerable children.

“The problem of HIV, and the orphaned children that have resulted, is not an issue to leave to the government. It is not an issue for someone else. It is an issue for the churches.” Cecilia Kananu, HIV/AIDS project assistant, delivered these words to Mweraonkoro East African Pentecostal Church one Sunday morning. This is the same message she has brought to multiple churches in the area. And the churches are hearing her call. Kananu’s work is in the fertile Meru region on the slopes of Mt. Kenya and is largely focused on building the capacity of churches in her area to respond to the HIV crisis – particularly in regard to orphans and vulnerable children. She helps churches to identify and train leaders who will in turn lead their churches to respond to the HIV crisis. The trained church members can educate others about HIV and implement programs to meet the needs of those who are orphaned by or living with HIV. Zachary Kaimenyi, HIV/AIDS programs manager for Food for the Hungry-Kenya, explains that the churches have staying power in the community and are most able to provide a long-term approach to confronting HIV. “Non-church programs can come and go,” Kaimenyi says. “But the church remains present.” One of the fruits of these labors is a local multi-church committee which is focused on caring for the orphans and vulnerable children in their midst. The committee members represent local churches including Pentecostal, Methodist, Full Gospel and more. Unfortunately, not too many years ago these church bodies were unwilling to work together across denominational lines.Yet, as they have grown in a vision for serving the needy in their community, they are appreciating how their integration makes them stronger and more effective to face this challenge in their midst. Members of the committee testify to the change in their perspective on the HIV crisis since they have had the opportunity to receive more education. They share about their first memories of seeing the effects of HIV in their community. “People thought it was witchcraft,” a committee member says. Another member reports that people thought that the disease was a form of population control. The group notes that they also held misunderstandings about how HIV was spread, including beliefs that it could be contracted through sharing eating utensils. The collective understanding of the committee about HIV today reflects the benefits of the training they have received to be leaders in this effort. Members of the group are also glad to share how the Bible has shed light on their understanding of how to respond to this crisis.

In situations where children have lost one or more parents due to HIV, Food for the Hungry is equipping local church members to nurture and provide for these vulnerable ones.

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roy mutuma, church-based volunteer.

Samuel Muriuki, the vice-chairman of the committee, explains how caring for children follows the example of Christ.“We need to demonstrate the same love to children that Jesus showed when He said to let the little children come to Him.” Geoffrey Rintari, another member of the committee, says,“God has created all people in His image.Whether a person is living with HIV or is an orphaned child, they all have value and should not be stigmatized or isolated.” The possibility for stigmatization and isolation due to HIV is something that church-based volunteer Roy Mutuma knows all too well. Today, 20-year-old Roy spends much of his week visiting the homes of orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers. However, it was only a few years ago that he was living as an orphaned child himself. Roy and his brother had a secure middle-income life when their father became ill. According to Kananu, “They had a big house, the father was keeping the family well and the children had a happy life. But all of a sudden life changed.” When Roy was eight years old, his father died. The father’s family blamed the mother for infecting the father with HIV. Simultaneously, the mother had been unaware of her husband’s illness and, even after he died, she struggled to accept that he had HIV. The paternal family came to Roy’s home, which was on family land, and forced the boys and their mother to leave. The family was soon living in a small rented house located in the town’s market area. Additionally, the mother was sick on and off due to the fact that she was HIV positive. Through the partnership of the local church and Food for the Hungry, Roy was able to gain the needed funds for school tuition, uniforms and books. Roy’s mother died when he was 18, and he went to live with the same grandparents who had forced his mother from their home. As Roy worked to complete his schooling, a volunteer trained by Food for the Hungry regularly visited his home to advise his grandparents on caring for him. When Roy tells his story he often says, “I thank God.” Even though his challenges remained real, he also grew in faith in Jesus and hope. Roy is now a church-based volunteer who is reaching out to other orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers. He does this because he says, “Serving the community is the same as serving God.” Specifically, Roy seeks to encourage orphaned and vulnerable children not to lose hope. “They may be thinking that God is not favoring them, but I advise them to accept what has happened,” he says. He tells orphans, “What has happened is not your fault. Imagine what is good for your future. God has a purpose for you.” Reflecting on the ongoing threat of HIV for himself and his peers, Roy says, “Prevention is better than the cure.” As a leader among the young people in his church, Roy seeks to help others see their bodies as holy temples and to rely on the Word of God to guide their behavior. When Shep Owen, Food for the Hungry-Kenya country director, reflects on the work of equipping churches to care for those who are affected by HIV, he says, “Food for the Hungry can provide training and support and encourage mobilization, but it is only through the involvement of the local church that we see long-term community impact against HIV and AIDS. The church is best suited to reach out to the community in meaningful ways, as Christ would have them doing.”

A group of orphaned and vulnerable children outside Mweraonkoro East African Pentecostal Church, a congregation that works in partnership with Food for the Hungry.




[ contending with hiv in kenya ]

“Young people in Kenya make choices and face peer pressure just as young adults in the U.S. do,” says Food for the Hungry HIV/AIDS programs coordinator Kim Buttonow.“Simultaneously though, they face additional challenges, such as high unemployment and poverty, which can hinder their vision for the future and lead to risky behaviors.” Isiolo, a town 50 miles north of Mt. Kenya, is an area that has been targeted by Food for the Hungry for reaching youth with lifegiving messages for HIV prevention. Forty-eight percent of the wider district struggles in poverty. Conflicts over access to water led to riots in July 2009. Even when the youth receive education, opportunities for employment are slim, leading to a lack of direction and hope for the future. It is in this context that a group of young Kenyans mobilized themselves and came to Food for the Hungry asking to be equipped to serve their community – especially in regard to fighting the spread of HIV. The youth did not go to the same school, they were not close friends, nor did they have much else in common aside for a concern for the future of their neighbors. “We wanted to help our community,” one of the group members says. Francis Kiruja, the lead staff person for Food for the Hungry in Isiolo was thrilled to meet these youth. Today, he is walking with them to help them carry out their objectives and together they shine as a light in their community. Food for the Hungry’s primary model for equipping youth with life-saving messages in the area of HIV involves equipping leaderyouth who then reach out to teenagers who are usually a few years younger than they are. Through schools and churches, clubs are formed and led by older youth to create a venue for important discussions on prevention that are meaningful and relevant for all involved. Kiruja began training the Isiolo leader-youth in January 2009.Today the small band of trained leaders are reaching 300 others per month and gathering with peer groups three times per week. It is not only in Isiolo that this model for prevention teaching is being carried out.

Francis Kirjura, the lead Food for the Hungry staff person in Isiolo, equips youth leaders to teach peers about HIV prevention and other related truths.

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[ contending with hiv in kenya ]

In 2009, Food for the Hungry-Kenya facilitated similar “Youth-to-Youth” groups reaching 4,807 young people with prevention teaching. The primary teaching tool Food for the Hungry uses to facilitate “Youth-to-Youth” groups is a curriculum called “Choose Life.”This curriculum focuses on abstinence and faithfulness to prevent the spread of HIV, but also seeks to get at the heart of the issues teens face that lead to risky behaviors. For example, the curriculum focuses on themes such as: • Bodies are created by God and worthy of respect and self discipline; • Friends may help or harm, so choose them wisely; • Youth are sexual beings, just like everyone else, but they can take control of their behavior to avoid AIDS. Dramas, games and other life-skills activities are incorporated into the meetings to help the leaderyouth encourage their younger peers to express what is on their minds. In this way, peers can serve as a positive support to each other. When asked to share a memorable lesson from “Choose Life,” one of the leader-youth in Isiolo named Grace Nyaga references a lesson on how the intertwined factors of economic challenges and personal behavior play out. “In this drama there is a young girl who meets a man who has a good job and has cash,” Nyaga says. “So the girl is tempted to have a sexual relationship with him to benefit from his money. Through the drama we show the younger students that this is not good.You must wait for the right time for such a relationship.” Leaders are prepared to give each “Choose Life” lesson through introductory teaching such as the following: “Sexual temptation and social pressure are very real forces that affect all of us. How can youth abstain from sex until marriage and remain sexually pure in the face of such challenges? Young people need to understand that sex is a special gift created by God… They need to see that their sexuality is more than simply the physical act of sex, but that it also involves mental, emotional and spiritual expressions of what it means to be male and female.”

Adan Duba, a leader-youth for the “Youth-to-Youth” program explains how select older adolescents are trained to reach younger teens with lifesaving HIV/AIDS prevention messages.



The dirt and rock floors of the church where the youth are gathered reflects the physical poverty they face, in addition to the threat of HIV/AIDS. To seek expanded economic opportunities, these young people have also focused their group on starting income generating activities, such as growing saplings for the local forestry department.

In addition to helping youth understand how HIV is spread, they are taught that HIV is not spread by activities such as: • touching someone with HIV; • sharing eating utensils – spoons, forks, or bowls with someone with HIV; • living in the same house or working with someone with HIV; • witchcraft. This truthful teaching about HIV helps many young people make wise decisions and also works against stigmatization, so that they can lead others in loving and accepting those who are infected in their communities. The main goal of “Youth-to-Youth” groups, which are often segregated by gender, is to get important issues into the open so young people can be prepared to navigate the challenges that come their way. By creating a safe place to talk about friendships, God-given value, body image, and choosing wise counselors, these young people can learn the best defense possible against HIV, which begins in their own hearts and minds. Similar groups are also underway in Isiolo and elsewhere for married couples called “Keys to a Healthy Relationships.” Like the “Choose Life” curriculum, “Keys to a Healthy Relationships” focuses on facts about HIV, peer pressure and self worth. However, since participants in these groups are married, a special focus is put on strengthening the marriage relationship through subjects including non-verbal communication, conflict resolution and child rearing. Participants can even organize a marriage renewal ceremony after they have completed their time with the group, to signify a renewed commitment to the marriage relationship. Whether by working with groups of young people or adult couples, Food for the Hungry-Kenya is committed to shedding light on what can be very veiled, yet very real issues that contribute to the spread or eradication of HIV. This approach is integrally tied to Food for the Hungry’s mission of ending poverty through healthy relationships with God and His creation, including relationships with other people. “When we seek to build relationships on truth and grace, we are working against attitudes and actions that are proven to be destructive in every society,” says Keith Wright, Food for the Hungry’s Africa regional director. “In sub-Saharan Africa, unhealthy relational practices have contributed to the spread of HIV, so we work to address that. But in every culture we must look at our own relational practices and seek to align them with God’s truth to discover the fullness of life He intends for us.” Largely due to effective prevention messages, today Kenya can celebrate that new HIV infections and deaths are decreasing. Yet, the threat of HIV remains real. Therefore, Food for the Hungry remains arm in arm with partners throughout Kenya to seek an end to the devastation. 9

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Believers Church’s senior pastor Jamey Stuart (left) and small-group leader Tedd Jones hold a Food for the Hungry gift catalog for everyone to see. The gift guide is filled with examples of gifts that can make a difference in the lives of the poor around the world.

church on the give challenged by the parable of the talents, a virginia-based congregation puts faithful stewardship to the test. By Rez Gopez-Sindac

Believers Church, located in Chesapeake, Va., is big on doing servant evangelism, defined by many church leaders as “sharing God’s love through simple, practical acts of kindness – with no strings attached.” Whether it’s giving neighbors coffee packets in the spring with a reminder to “spring” their clocks ahead, or handing out hot chocolate and cookies to shoppers standing




in line for Black Friday sales, Believers Church always looks for small, easy ways to serve others. So when Tedd Jones, a small-group ministry leader, approached senior pastor Jamey Stuart about expanding the impact of his group’s gift-giving project, Jamey immediately gave Tedd the goahead. “It was a no-brainer, because giving is already a part of our DNA as a church,” Jamey says.

The Parable Project Was Born

What is now known as the Parable Project among members and friends of Believers Church, started in fall 2007. Jones was new in his role as a small-group leader. His group had just completed two evangelistic projects – a food basket donation to a needy family and a prayer walk at a mall. Also, he and his wife, Amy, had been supporting the work of Food for the Hungry for years with a $500 donation every Christmas time. Still, Jones prayed that God would expand his borders with a world project and enlarge the reach of his group. God’s answer to his prayer came in the form of an e-mail from Food for the Hungry. It was an appeal to supporters to give gifts that could change the lives of the poor around the world and introduce them to the love of Jesus. These gifts, colorfully illustrated in a gift catalog, included mosquito nets, deworming medicines, fruit-bearing trees, school supplies, latrines, wells, and livelihood opportunities. Tedd says that as soon as he read the e-mail, the parable of the talents [Matthew 25:14-30] came to mind, and he knew what God wanted him to do. “It hit me so hard that I choked on my words and couldn’t tell Amy about it for about five minutes,” he says. When Tedd regained his composure, he told his wife that they would divide up the $500 gift they had earmarked for Food for the Hungry, put various amounts into 20 envelopes – $10 in some and $20 and $50 in others – and distribute the envelopes to the members of his small group and to some friends. Following the parable as closely as possible, Tedd did not tell the recipients of the envelopes what to do with the money, but he challenged them to use their talents to increase it. Tedd says some people baked cookies and brownies and sold them; others did yard

Examples of gifts in Food for the Hungry’s catalog include: chickens, pigs and cows, food trees, seeds and tools, deworming medicines and mosquito nets, clean water and latrines, school supplies and livelihood projects, and Bibles.

work and construction for a small fee; one edited an article; and an artist painted a picture. “Our goal was just to double the money just like what the good and faithful servants in the parable had done,” says Tedd. But the group missed the goal. More accurately, the group overshot the goal! After less than four weeks of “investing” their money, members of Tedd’s small group collectively turned in $1,882! The fun part, says Tedd, was choosing which gifts to purchase from Food for the Hungy’s gift catalog. “With the money, we bought goats and pigs and rabbits and fruit trees, health care and school supplies and school uniforms, mosquito nets and Bibles and medical insurance for families … the list was amazing.”

Taking it to the Next Level

Pumped up by how God had multiplied their seed money and used it to bring physical and spiritual transformation to many people around the world, Tedd and the members of his group decided to give the Parable Project another try. So in fall 2008, Tedd asked another small group to join and together they increased the seed money to $1,000 and the number of envelopes to 40. This time, recipients of the envelopes were given about six weeks to grow their seed money using their God-given skills and talents. By the end of the fundraising period, the groups had collected $4,360. “Among other things, we funded a water catchment system to supply clean water to an entire community during the dry season – year after year,” says Tedd.

6:8 6:8



“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” – Matthew 25: 19-23

calling all churches! If you want more information on the Parable Project or need help on how to implement it at your church or small group, e-mail Tedd Jones at

A framed picture of acknowledgment cards from Food for the Hungry, each card showing the gift that was bought to change many lives around the world.




Around this time, Tedd and senior pastor Jamey Stuart were already convinced they had to take the project to a church-wide level. As a next step, Jamey went to the elders of the church to discuss funding. “As a church, we put up $3,000 towards the project so we have enough to distribute to as much small groups as possible,” says Jamey. Again, Tedd’s yearly pledge of $500 was added to the pot. Eleven small groups signed up for the 2009 Parable Project. The groups received their envelopes in November and were given six weeks to increase their seed money. By the end of the year, they turned in more than $14,000. And not only has the church multiplied the seed money by over 400 percent, it also added another beneficiary – OrphaNetwork, an organization that helps rescue, restore and redeem abandoned children in Nicaragua.

[ vision partners ]

But Believers Church has “We are kicking in another another giving surprise up its $7,000 from our missions sleeves. Tedd announces, “We are kicking in another $7,000 funding so that both from our missions funding so Food for the Hungry that both Food for the Hungry and OrphaNetwork will and OrphaNetwork will receive more.” This is great news to receive more.” many impoverished families – Tedd Jones, believers church small-group ministry leader and communities around the world. It means they will have access to more livelihood opportunities, seeds and tools for farming, clean water, educational scholarships, medical assistance, and Bibles and discipleship training.

Geared for global impact

A church with a strong emphasis on mission, Believers Church also partners with a pastor training outreach in Brazil and with local churches in Nicaragua, Nepal and France. Jamey, a former missionary to France, says the church’s mission emphasis is to work with local churches rather than send missionaries overseas. “I learned that a better tactic is to help the local church accomplish their vision for their community,” says Jamey, adding that “the locals are better equipped for the job than us typically.” Jamey says he sees the same principle in how Food for the Hungry works to accomplish its vision. “One of the things I love about Food for the Hungry as an organization is their partnerships with churches and communities. I think that’s very strategic.” And Believers Church is just as strategic in advancing God’s love in its community and around the world. “One of my visions is for us to be a local church with a global impact,” says Jamey. “We have a strong emphasis on servant evangelism, and we’re trying to develop a reputation of being a church on the give, a church that constantly gives things away.” 9

Name that Cow In an e-mail to Food for the Hungry, Tedd Jones shares, “Remember the fella, John, who bought the cow last year? The running joke was that there was now a cow in Africa named “John.” I hoped that neither he nor the cow was insulted. Well, he really liked the idea, so he doubled last year’s contribution and insisted that I named a cow after his wife, Genia. Wow! His wife was standing right there, and he didn’t end up bleeding or anything.”

Little Surprises Tedd Jones has an amazing story to share that, he says, shows just how much God loves to give little surprises. He explains, “My friend, Abel, is an artist. So to multiply his seed money, he did a painting and decided to sell it on eBay. You know who ended up buying that painting? John Frick’s wife!” (Editor’s note: John Frick was a senior director at Food for the Hungry.)

ways to give To view a Food for the Hungry Gift Catalog, go to

Abel Aguirre with his art pieces. To increase his seed money, Abel did a painting and sold it on eBay.

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kim buttonow is passionate about developing and facilitating outreaches that address the effects of HIV/AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children.

championing hiv/aids care and prevention

as a leader and developer of food for the hungry’s hiv programs, kim buttonow gives current insights on the fight against the pandemic Kim Buttonow serves as HIV/AIDS programs coordinator, working from the Food for the Hungry (FH) office in Washington, D.C. She is trained as a public health professional. Her involvement in Food for the Hungry began in Cambodia, where she served as a missionary, and managed the water and sanitation program. In 2004 she returned to the U.S. and has since been passionately involved in facilitating program development in the area of HIV/AIDS care and prevention. Kim says the highlight of her work is engaging with field staff and volunteers and seeing change. “I love watching everyone who is involved get excited about where God is moving. I am blessed to see people grow through experience and understanding,” Kim says. 6:8 Magazine contributing writer, Eileen O’Gorman, interviews Kim about her insights on the HIV pandemic and how Food for the Hungry is working to provide a compassionate, Christian response.



When did you start becoming aware of the HIV epidemic? When I first served with Food for the Hungry in Cambodia, I knew a person who died of HIV. He was always sick. This was a context where poverty was constantly putting people on the brink of disaster. If one factor changed, such as an illness in the family, then people were very vulnerable. There was little money available for medical care. If that money was spent, it would not be able to be used for something else, such as food or education. The man I knew who was living with HIV had five children. He was married, but at some point in his life he got HIV. His family spent everything to try to take care of him. If his insurance company would have learned he had HIV, they would have cancelled his coverage. I literally pulled money out of my pocket to pay for his medical care and I did it gladly. But he died and there was much shame. His wife was destitute. I really saw the vulnerability of people through this situation and how HIV complicates such vulnerability further.

Jane Gitobu with her niece for whom she serves as a guardian. Jane lives in Meru, Kenya, and was trained by Food for the Hungry to lead her fellow church members in caring for orphans and vulnerable children.

q: A:

Where does the global AIDS crisis stand today? Almost 33 million people today are living with HIV. In the countries that are most affected, it has lowered the life expectancy by about 20 years. Sadly, for every person on treatment there are still six new infections. So, even though treatment has been scaled up, the number of new infections really outpaces our ability to treat people. The good news is that we know how to prevent HIV, and we can equip people with prevention teaching. However, we must recognize that, in many contexts, there are intertwining economic, religious, cultural, and other factors that makes the situation not as cut and dry as we would like it to be. That does not mean that there is no hope – it just means we have to recognize these factors. Why is HIV/AIDS such a high-profile disease? Talking about HIV is unlike any other global health issue. Many people have a political or religious or moral opinion about it. The disease has received attention from a wide range of sectors including churches and international gatherings such as the G8 Summit. When topics such as mosquito nets, hand washing, or using a latrine are raised, those practices are just perceived as good things to do. But the issues around HIV have many sides. I believe that the attention devoted to HIV is due to the fact that there are complex issues involved and some of those issues relate to personal freedom. In an American context, freedom is an issue we are passionate about. But even though there are a lot of sides to the HIV situation, there remains much truth to be found and heard. – kim buttonow, food for the hungry It has been said that two misunderstandings hiv/aids programs coordinator about Africa are that the continent is viewed as “one big country” and that it is “full of HIV.” We can safely say that there are 54 countries in Africa. How would you answer the view that Africa is “full of HIV?” Actually, the pandemic in Africa varies according to region, people groups within regions, government responses, socioeconomic class, and many other factors. There are huge variations of percentage of people infected and affected on the continent. For example, in southern Africa, that is, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana, rates are amongst the

q: A:

“almost 33 million people today are living with hiv. in the countries that are most affected, it has lowered the life expectancy about 20 years.”

q: A:


35 35

highest globally. One main reason for the high rate, at least in South Africa, is a political one; a past president failed to recognize the problem of HIV in his country. In other parts of Africa, for example, in many of the northern countries, HIV is practically non-existent among the general population, but remains high among specific groups of people such as commercial sex workers. HIV is a behavior-driven disease, and behaviors are driven by culture, language, faith, gender, and a host of other factors.

q: A:

What is the best thing Food for the Hungry has to offer in HIV work? The best thing we have to offer is that we bring the message of Jesus. This wholistic message involves the grace and means for a right relationship with our Creator, a right relationship with self and a right relationship with others. Food for the Hungry also brings real practical ways in which that Gospel can be lived out, so it’s not “pie in the sky.” Additionally, I believe we have much to offer because we work through God’s chosen instrument, the church, as well as leaders and families.

q: A:

How do you see FH equipping churches in the developing world to respond to the HIV crisis? Equipping churches has always been at the heart of what Food for the Hungry has sought to do. In regard to HIV prevention, we are training church leaders and young people so they will have a lasting message that can be passed on. We emphasize abstinence and faithfulness, both of which are very strong biblical messages – therefore we are speaking a language that they understand. In the realm of care and support of people living with HIV, we are training church leaders to have greater awareness and compassion for their neighbors. They are also being equipped with some practical medical nursing skills. In times past, I saw churches being reluctant to get involved and be associated with a disease that, in their eyes, was very sinful. But now that they have understood more of a biblical message, which involves compassion, they see this as part of their calling.

q: A: q: A:

How did you get interested in public health? My undergraduate degree is in cultural anthropology. One of my professors introduced me to public health. She taught us to look at the cultural beliefs behind why certain people get diseases. I originally thought I would continue to study anthropology, but I felt if I did this I would only really be able to observe. Once I learned what public health was, it seemed to relate so much more to what I was interested in and align with God’s call for me as a Christian. What are some of the principle functions carried out by Food for the Hungry staff who are devoted to HIV work globally? Food for the Hungry’s HIV programs involve a significant mobilization and training component. Staff mobilize churches, leaders and families to get excited about and involved in HIV prevention, care and support. Then, they provide those who are mobilized with the tools and information they need to help their neighbors. In most of our programs, volunteers are recruited through churches and they work right in their own community, with people they know. In addition, staff provide linkages to health care services and help people understand what they can do at home and when they need to go to the clinic for medical treatment. 36



[ frontliners ]

q: A:

What do you think are the primary issues to be addressed in moving forward in responding to HIV? There are still many issues to be addressed in regard to HIV prevention, care and support. One large issue is the millions of children who are orphaned by HIV. This is something that isn’t just going to be gone tomorrow. How we care for these 20 million plus children is a major concern for me. I also firmly believe that more research needs to be done to find the most effective ways to help prevent and treat HIV, including medical and behavioral methods. There are some things we know work well, such as providing anti-retro viral therapy and preventing infants from being born with HIV. In those cases, we need to scale up these services so no child is born with HIV and no one is left without treatment. Finally, I think we need to continue to provide assistance to governments and local organizations in all affected countries so that they are one day able to provide for themselves with a high level of technical capacity. Food for the Hungry and others need to continue to find ways to build the capacity of our brothers and sisters in the countries and communities where we work.

q: A:

How can a person in the U.S. become involved in responding to HIV? There are many ways to get involved. I always advise people to think and pray about it first. Get educated! Visit the Web sites of Food for the Hungry (f and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (, and read The Skeptics Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis. HIV and AIDS are such overwhelming topics and these are good places to start an investigation. Food for the Hungry’s Change for Life program (http://www.f gives churches and other groups a tool for raising funds for HIV programs. You can also sponsor a child in an AIDS-affected part of the world. Look at Food for the Hungry’s policy Web page (www.f for updates on how you can advocate in your community and with your government. 9

Kim and some hiv/aids orphans and vulnerable children in Mozambique sit in the middle of a garden that the children helped to plant. The garden provides produce to eat and to sell – funding school fees and other expenses.

visit food for the hungry’s policy web page at www. aids to learn more. 6:8 6:8



6:8 Magazine, Spring 2010  

HIV/AIDS in Kenya, Lement for Haiti, hope for Uganda

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