Each October, I encourage our Fellowship to focus on food insecurity as an issue of justice and a matter of prayer and support. The PAOC’s humanitarian agency, ERDO, is well positioned to address the issues of food insecurity and to express the love of Christ in hungry communities. As a Fellowship, we’ve trusted ERDO and their partners to “do good” in Jesus’ name for almost 40 years.
This year, the need for emergency food is extreme as the world’s most vulnerable are facing hunger on an unprecedented scale. While there are many ERDO food assistance programs underway to help meet needs, there is a particular project which I encourage you to support through a special gift before the end of 2022.
Right now, Zimbabwe is going through extreme food insecurity due to years of drought and high inflation. Over 90% of children in the areas we serve rely on our school feeding program as their only source of nutrition, or as their only daily meal!
To help these children, our Zimbabwe School Feeding Program needs your support.
Through ERDO and our partners, this program will increase childhood health for over 41,600 primary school students for the entire year. ERDO is working with 86 schools throughout Zimbabwe, providing a fortified cereal which will be cooked on-site by volunteers. This cereal will provide children with nutrition five days a week for the next year.
The full-scale project costs well over $1 million, but through a special combination of matching grants dependent on fundraising, ERDO needs to raise $200,000. I know that with our Fellowship working together, and by starting in October, we can do incredible things to reach that goal by Christmas.
I encourage you to support this need and multiply your generous gift through the 5:1 match. To read more and donate: https://erdo.ca/zimbabwe-school-meals/.
On behalf of ERDO and the PAOC, please hear my thanks,
General Superintendent – The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
P. S. Please read on for prayer points and scripture verses that you can share with your church.
In addition to meeting the immediate needs of children and families in Zimbabwe, our world is in clear need of prayer, moving hearts and minds closer to understanding Christ-like compassion. Please share these scriptures and prayer points with your church so we can be united in our response to the great food needs in our world.
“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.” (Psalm 146:7)
• Pray for the women, men and children who know the painful pangs of hunger all too frequently. Pray for their physical comfort, that they will be able to find sources of food and encouragement. Pray that they will know that they are not forgotten and, despite their suffering, are made in the image of a God who loves them. Pray for the caregivers who are watching their loved ones suffer with hunger. Pray that despite this very real hardship they will find encouragement, and that God will open the doors so they will find sources of help.
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17)
• Pray that people around the world will have compassion for the millions facing hunger on a regular basis. Pray the barriers to food access become a cause that individuals, communities and even governments want to fight against. Pray that everyone will look to see how they can find ways to give, pray, learn, and advocate for the millions of people around the world who are living with the reality of knowing there will be days of not knowing where even one meal is coming from.
"Come, you who are blessed," Jesus says; "for I was hungry and you gave me food." (Matthew 25:34-35)
• Pray for the people working in communities where hunger is frequent. Pray that they would be strengthened and encouraged in their work. Pray that they will have the resources to serve all who come for help.
“And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10)
• Pray for conflict to cease and peace to prevail in places where violence is the primary driver of hunger and food insecurity.
“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (Proverbs 14:31)
• Pray that in the midst of our own lives and difficulties, we will not turn away from the suffering, despite the large numbers, and the pain.
“Do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)
Photo above © ERDO.