A Church in Maryland responds to God’s call to help hungry children in Africa.
First Baptist Church of Glenarden is no stranger to missions. For the past 20 years this Africa-American church has sent dozens of mission teams around the world.
But in 2009, Pastor John Jenkins issued a challenge to refocus the church’s global mission efforts, looking at more long-term efforts. This challenge led Belynda Gentry, associate pastor at Glenarden, in a search for not only the right partnership, but also the right cause.
It turned out that the cause was easy to pinpoint. “One of the top five temporal concerns facing the world are poverty and malnutrition among children,” says Pastor Gentry. “Also, with the global food crisis, there are a billion people hungry around the world.
We decided to do something to help address world hunger. We looked at several organizations, their mission, the countries they were working in, and their financial accountability. Out of the organizations that we looked at Compassion was very impressive. We were impressed with the work they were doing in East Africa and their financial accountability.”
With the partnership and cause both in place, Glenarden was ready to take action in the fight against hunger. In 2010, Glenarden budgeted $1 million dollars for world hunger. Glenarden donated half of that amount to Compassion — and within weeks the crisis in Kenya reached a breaking point.
Their gift, out of obedience, fully covered the first phase of Compassion’s efforts to provide water and food to drought-stricken Kenya.
Through this partnership with First Baptist Church of Glenarden, more than 14,600 Compassion-assisted children and their families have received food supplies, and 922 malnourished children had access to lifesaving medical care.
All because a church on a busy street in Maryland decided to stretch and grow and respond to God’s call to feed His children.