Millions of people around the world suffer from food insecurity, lacking access to or funding for healthy food.
As a result, destitute families cannot afford to provide regular meals for their children, and nursing mothers are sometimes so malnourished that they cannot breastfeed their babies. This lack of nutrition creates a generational cycle of poor health, poverty, and death.
As they labor to bring the gospel to their communities, Oakseed’s ministry partners provide life-giving nutrition to infants, toddlers, children, teens, nursing mothers, and families through meals, food baskets, and livestock. Each food item or meal is given in the name of Christ, providing physical and spiritual nourishment simultaneously.
Giving needy families food items is not a viable long-term solution on its own. The need is too great for regular food distribution alone. Many of Oakseed’s ministry partners step into this void by also providing training and equipment for people to grow their own food, thus providing an ongoing source of food, dignity in providing for their families, and the opportunity for additional income generation as surpluses are sold.
Commenting on the necessity for such mercy ministries, Rev. Sam Oluoch, Oakseed Ministry Liaison to Africa, says:
So long as we are a church, there will be a need, in one way or another, to also balance our ministry with practical acts of mercy, whatever the context is. . . . It is indispensable because I think of places where, in my country, . . . getting food is a luxury. These are people that, even when you are preaching to them under the trees, you see them dozing off . . . Maybe one is sick, so he is not able to listen well; one has not eaten for the last four days or so, their body needs food to concentrate. . . . And it just goes without saying that before we go out thinking that what they only need is the gospel (of course, the gospel has a priority), we must also be sensitive to these other practical needs.
- For the Lord to provide the needs of each of these ministry partners so that they can continue to bring the gospel to the people in their communities.
- For the Lord to give Oakseed’s ministry partners ongoing relationships with their communities as they bring physical sustenance, giving them extended opportunities to share the gospel with them.
- For the Lord to bring the participants in these programs to faith in Jesus as the Bread of Life.
- For the Lord to draw entire families to Christ and the church as they experience the love of Christ through these ministries.
Here is a sampling of Oakseed’s ministry partners who provide nutrition to their communities as they minister the gospel to them:
CEMIPRE (Chile) provides raised garden beds as therapy for their clients. They use gardening to provide nutritious food and help people with low vision learn to navigate the world around them and gain dignity from purposeful work.
Emanuel House (Dominican Republic) serves 150 children from 117 of the poorest families in Quisqueya, feeding them spiritually, physically, and emotionally. In addition to Bible study and education, children receive access to clean water, functioning bathrooms, and regular meals (breakfast, lunch, and a snack)—which they may not have access to at home.
Hannah House Family (Burundi) invests in the lives of youth through their kids’ clubs and back-to-school programs. The kids’ clubs include trauma healing classes, meals, games, writing, drawing, and Bible stories. They also provide mothers with food supplies to help care for their families.
Hanna Orphan’s Home (Ethiopia) provides services for around 200 local children, including enrollment in a local school, after-school tutoring programs, meals, weekly Bible studies, counseling, and access to the ministry’s library.
Jars of Oil Mission Africa (Uganda) cares for grannies living in deep poverty who can barely meet their own needs and are now also caring for grandchildren left orphaned by HIV/AIDS. JOMA feeds these families by delivering food packages and helping them start gardens, providing a source of food, income, and dignity.
JEAME (Brazil) provides newly released detainees and their families with food, meeting a crucial need as they find employment.
Kenya Needy Orphans and Children (Kenya) distributes food baskets to youth at retreats and home visits. Some of these students struggle to have food for meals and sometimes fail to go to school due to hunger. The food baskets have been a great blessing to them.
*Please visit the blog next week to read about how more of Oakseed’s ministry partners serve their communities in this way.
Oakseed offers opportunities to support these ministries through prayer and general and specific giving. We also publish an annual bazaar catalog full of gifts that have been carefully chosen by Oakseed and our partners to meet the real needs of their specific ministries. These are blessings above and beyond our ongoing support for their ministry work and are excellent options for Christmas gifts, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other occasion. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request a catalog. To give the gift of food, ongoing food sources, or a gardening kit to these ministries, visit our group gifts catalog page.