How many meals do you think Answers in Genesis has helped provide to families living in poverty through our partnership with Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF)? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions?
I think you will be shocked, amazed, and thrilled with the impact the AiG ministry has already had and excited to know we are ramping it up to take it to even higher levels.
The mission of Children’s Hunger Fund is “to deliver hope to suffering children by equipping local churches for gospel-centered mercy ministry.” That’s why we love to work with this group. As they state on their website, “We declare the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ as our first priority. It is the only source of true hope, the ultimate remedy for mankind’s suffering, and the power of God to those who are being saved. Therefore, we unite our God-given gifts and resources for gospel proclamation.”
At Answers in Genesis, we recognize that we need to help people materially and spiritually.
VBS Partnership Feeds Millions
We developed a relationship with Children’s Hunger Fund a decade ago so our VBS program, used by thousands of churches, could help provide food for families in need. This also helps the children participating in the VBS program see how important it is to help others in need. And, of course, the VBS program itself spiritually impacts hundreds of thousands of children in the US!
They need help, and they need the hope that only comes from salvation in Jesus Christ.
How does this partnership work? Each VBS day during the Mission Moment, through a video produced by CHF, the children learn about a child from a different country who is impacted by poverty in a different way. These children have no guarantee of meals, shelter, or an education. They need help, and they need the hope that only comes from salvation in Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that giving generously to the poor is really giving generously to God himself (Proverbs 19:17). With this Answers VBS Mission Moment, we aim to teach children the great joy that comes from sacrificing for the sake of Jesus and his gospel.
For instance, at Keepers of the Kingdom (our 2023 VBS), children met Ehani from Nepal, who was born into generational poverty; Chiumbo from Kenya, who is an orphan; Orik from Albania, who deals with extreme hunger; Diego from Honduras, who was caught in a natural disaster; and Olivia from the US, who is part of the invisible poor.
At each VBS, the children give coins for meals that come in Food Paks, which are filled with nutritious food. Every 25 cents can provide one meal. The Food Paks are delivered by trained pastors and volunteers from local churches to a family in need in their own community. Along with food delivery, relationships are built and the gospel is shared as these pastors and volunteers pray with these families and share about the love of Christ. CHF has these Mercy Networks in 30 countries (a CHF Mercy Network is a collection of like-minded churches, trained and equipped by CHF, that are pursuing gospel-centered, relational mercy ministry).
So how many meals has AiG been able to provide this way since our relationship began with CHF?
I asked for the following report from Dave Phillips, president and founder of Children’s Hunger Fund,
Our decade-long partnership with Answers in Genesis has been used by God to further the advancement of the gospel to 30 countries around the world. The success of CHF’s Poverty Encounter, an immersive experience on global poverty and God’s love for the poor, is directly tied to our relationship with AiG. Their willingness to lend their experience and expertise gave us the faith to move forward with confidence. Through our Food Pak program, 25 cents can help supply a meal for a hungry child. Through our partnership with AiG, over 11 million meals have been provided in the form of Food Paks to children and families living in poverty. But, more important than the food, these children are hearing the good news of the gospel and being introduced to a personal relationship with Jesus.
Did you read that? Eleven million meals have been provided! Of these, the AiG VBS program has provided 10,400,218 of these meals. Wow!
The funds were used for both domestic (65% of their outreach) and international (35% of their outreach) meals. Some food items in these Food Paks include peanut butter, fruit snacks, canned veggies, canned beans, pasta, tuna, and granola bars. The funds also enable the purchase of in-country food items internationally where canned goods and processed foods would not help a family. For example, in most third-world countries, the funds provide rice, beans, chicken, plantains, etc. Kids are reached with the gospel as volunteers in the local church distribute our Food Paks to families in need. They are trained to share the gospel with the whole family while providing much-needed meals to the family. The Food Pak is the catalyst to share the gospel and bring children and families into a relationship with Christ and the local church.
Dave Phillips also stated, “The meals in our Food Paks go directly to families living in poverty. However, we also support a number of feeding programs for children in various developing countries. Internally, we estimate that between 75–85% of all the food we provide goes directly to support children and youth.”
Buy a meal, give a meal!
So how are we growing this partnership? Just recently at the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, we made changes that will help provide many more meals through CHF. Our VP of attractions operations for the Ark and Creation Museum told me:
We are working on creating unique “meal deals” at our various culinary venues so that when you buy a meal, AiG will give a meal through its partnership with CHF. This allows us to enhance our guests’ dining experience by knowing that their meal purchase is also going to provide a meal to those in need through Children’s Hunger Fund.
Here is what visitors to the attractions will see on various menu items:
Our menu boards will look something like this:
When you visit our two attractions, you will also see another way we are helping needy people around the world. We sell a wide variety of fair trade items from over 20 countries through our gift stores.
This part of the ministry at AiG has a big impact across the globe but is often unnoticed and taken for granted.
Supporting Christian Fair Trade Ministries
Most people do not realize how important fair trade is. Answers in Genesis partners with and supports many small Christian fair trade ministries. These ministries are impacting some of the poorest and most marginalized people of the world in an immense way.
Not only does selling fair trade enable many people to have a job with a steady income, but they are hearing the gospel message for the first time, and we hear of many receiving Christ as their Savior. They are also taught how to live for Christ.
Many of the Christian fair trade companies that AiG works with are located in countries that are hostile to the gospel and are unable to publicly promote that they are a Christian organization. Yet these small organizations are helping give hope to the hopeless as they share the gospel.
Widows and abandoned women gain steady employment, which helps stop the exploitation of women and children and keeps families together.Young men’s work helps finance advanced education to break the cycle of poverty.People receive a feeling of worth and value through others purchasing their handmade products.The funds from the purchases help build churches and Christian schools.And so much more.
Here is just some of the feedback we’ve received from these ministries about how the purchases from AiG have helped them:
They’ve provided a six-month salary for Indian women who have been removed from the red-light district. (The ministry told us that without AiG’s support, their ministry would not exist!)They’ve enabled a Thai ministry to provide food and share the gospel to communities and allow them to train thirty-one new artisans last year.They’ve rescued women out of the sex trade in hostile countries.They’ve built Christian schools in Haiti and Nepal.They’ve funded advanced education.
This verse comes to mind:
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).
Now, we do so many other things through AiG, such as subsidizing our worldwide translation ministry and international offices (e.g., the UK and Australia), supporting missionaries in Peru, and funding full-time staff members for an active, powerful ministry in Latin America.
I’m so thrilled that our ministry as a whole and our staff have such a heart for missions at home and abroad.
I ask that you prayerfully consider sending a generous gift of any size today to partner with us in this vital ministry the Lord has raised up. Your support of AiG not only enables millions to be impacted by God’s Word and the gospel in various ways but helps countless families in need around the world.
I’m so thrilled that our ministry as a whole and our staff have such a heart for missions at home and abroad. Thank you for your prayer and financial support that enables us to continue this mission to the world.
P.S. It’s through your generosity in supporting AiG that we are able to impact millions for Christ! Your gift sent today online at AnswersDonate.com will be a great blessing! Thank you.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.