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Editorial: Feeding children

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Most of us don't go to bed hungry at night. However, around the world many face this harsh reality. In fact, 18,000 children died from starvation every day in 2010.

To help address this need, several area churches and organizations -- organized through LaCroix United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau -- will participate in a MobilePack event Dec. 9 to 11 through Feed My Starving Children, a Christian-based organization that distributes food to people in 70 countries.

Last year about 2,100 volunteers from LaCroix and throughout the community came together at West Park Mall to pack 505,224 meals, enough to feed 1,384 children for a year.

They are looking to attract 2,600 volunteers over 11 shifts next weekend to help at the Shawnee Park Center with a goal of packing 600,000 meals.

Linda Watts, co-chairwoman of the event, noted that members of LaCroix who have gone on mission trips this year have seen children eating the food from Feed My Starving Children. While not everyone can travel abroad for a mission trip, this local event is a tangible way to bless someone in need.

An event of this magnitude must have ample funding. LaCroix hopes to raise $175,000 during the church's Christmas Eve services to cover the costs. Those who can't make one of the services can still contribute by contacting the church office.

We often hear, especially during the Christmas season, that it is "better to give than to receive." Consider supporting this cause or attending the weekend event to learn more about the efforts. And thank you to all those who have committed to serve.


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This sounds noble, but it is not. Breed and feed programs not accompanied by birth control education only lead to more starvation and suffering. Makes the congregation back home get warm wooly feelings and good press, but doesn't help with the big picture.

-- Posted by foxtrot007 on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 7:44 AM

@foxtrot: And you are basing this on the actual work that this actual organization does, or just spouting an opinion? I agree with the idea that many attempts at aid can be fruitless, but check into this org's process before you blindly make a blanket statement like that.

It's really easy to. Google is your friend.

-- Posted by Ignatius Reilly on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 8:46 PM

I am basing this on 60 years of experience of watching the same old same old. I note you don't mention my comment on birth control.

-- Posted by foxtrot007 on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 9:06 PM

Hi foxtrot007,

Actually, I would have to disagree because I have personally seen it all in action in the past year. I'm not on here to change your mind or your opinion but to tell you what I know. What FMSC does is noble. I have seen starving children and women in Haiti eat this food. I have seen children gain weight & become nourished because of this food and that's just Haiti. I have pictures that I took myself.

In the two programs we visited while we were there, birth control was something that the women were sent home with. Birth control is a huge factor in trying to avoid more starving children & suffering. In fact, one of the ministries called Heartline Ministries is a women's clinic. The women there are pregnant and have the opportunity to learn the importance of nursing, taking care of their children while pregnant and after they give birth. Every Thursday, they have clinic days where the women ride tap-taps to the clinic to be weighed, have blood work drawn, hear the heartbeat and just recently Southeast Hospital donated an ultrasound machine to Heartline, so now they are able to diagnose anything sooner, then they are sent home with any medications they may need to have a healthy pregnancy until the following week. After they give birth, they are sent home with birth control. For lunch they are served Feed My Starving Children food. The ministry was started 20 years ago by two Americans that moved to Haiti from Boston. They are now working on a men's ministry. It is not an enabling program, the women are also taught to sew so they can provide a job and feed their children, if they miss three Thursdays, they are out of the program because there is such a long waiting list. The men are taught to show love and respect to the women, build concrete homes, toilets, wells.

The other place we visited is Real Hope for Haiti, it is a medical clinic ran by two sisters from the US who moved to Haiti over 15 years ago. They see up to 250 patients a day. One day last week, 400 people were waiting to be seen. Unfortunately, they could see them all, so the patients waited & slept outside the clinic until the next morning.

They have a rescue center that on average holds 60 malnourished children. They become healthy and are returned with their families. Most of them are not orphans, they are there to get better. I have seen FMSC rice on their sweet, little faces, going into their mouths. They are living because of FMSC and these ministries.

The volunteers are not packing to glorify themselves, they are there because that's what we called to do by our Savior. We are there to glorify God and help the children. Mother Theresa once said, "If you can't feed a hundred, feed one." It's not a press thing but yes, we do get wooly feelings. Why? Because, we are seeing our community coming together for one thing. To feed children & save their lives.

John McHoul, the man who started Heartline Ministries once said while we were in Haiti. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon, hence why they have lived in Haiti for 20 years. It's going to take time. Little by litte, we are helping the big picture. We are off to a great start in saving lives in Cape Girardeau...we fed 500,000 mouths last year from this program and our goal this year is 600,000. And, I know that we will reach 600,000 this year.

Below are the website addresses to the two ministries I referred to and if you have never been to FMSC, I personally invite you.

Sincerely,

Jessica

www.heartlineministries.org

www.realhopeforhaiti.org

-- Posted by JessicaR on Fri, Dec 9, 2011, at 10:51 AM


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