When Southern Baptists observe the annual Global Hunger Sunday the second Sunday in October, they will be called to act out the powerful love of Jesus, who the Bible says was “moved with compassion” for people in desperate need.
Scripture recounts several instances, like the one recorded in Matthew 14:14, when Jesus saw a large crowd, was moved with compassion for them and took powerful action to meet their needs. The Greek word translated ‘compassion’ refers to tender emotions, deeply felt feelings or a deep churning in a person’s spirit.
We might call it “gut wrenching.”
That kind of compassion compels a response, and Baptist Global Response (BGR) offers multiple ways to get involved. BGR, a Southern Baptist humanitarian aid organization, has published a new media kit to help churches promote Global Hunger Sun., Oct. 9.
The kit contains a poster, a slide, a promotional video, three versions of a bulletin insert and three hunger-related sermon outlines. Southern Baptist churches can use these resources to raise awareness about Global Hunger Sunday, an annual giving event for Global Hunger Relief (GHR).
Formerly known as the World Hunger Fund, GHR is an initiative of the Southern Baptist Convention that funds hunger projects in North America and around the world.
BGR serves as the administrator for GHR funds used in international food assistance and hunger-related projects.
BGR Executive Director Jeff Palmer says church involvement in GHR is a crucial part of efforts to end hunger.
“Every one of our GHR-funded projects overseas comes from a locally approved strategy,” he says.
“The church in the United States is critical to our ability to respond to massive hunger needs globally. Through the prayers of the saints for those suffering, the gifts from our membership that fund our ministries and the partnership of Christians who join us in hunger projects, BGR brings a wider influence of Southern Baptist and kingdom resources to those in great need.”
Established in 2006, BGR uses these resources to connect people in need with people who care. It also works with international disaster relief efforts and community development.
But, hunger relief remains one of BGR’s top priorities.
Through GHR and Global Hunger Sunday, Southern Baptists help BGR work toward its goal to feed as many undernourished as possible. In 2015, the organization gave food assistance to 173,000 people.
“BGR fully integrates the meeting of physical needs with spiritual needs, which, I believe, is at the heart of those individuals and churches who give to Global Hunger Relief,” Jill Waggoner, lead brand strategist for GHR, said.
“We live in a time of global awareness on an unprecedented scale. The people in our churches, I believe, seek to care for those in their communities and around the world who are in desperate circumstances.”
In past years, churches have planned creative events and campaigns to raise funds for a special offering on Global Hunger Sunday, said Mary Frances Satterwhite, BGR office director.
Some host meals to raise awareness for hunger, designating all money charged per meal to the offering. Churches and individuals can also order “bread banks” from the Woman’s Missionary Union to collect change and cash.
They can utilize the bank, which looks like a loaf of bread, as a tool to start conversations about world hunger.
Those interested in helping the hungry this year can find the Global Hunger Sunday media kit on the resources page of BGR’s website, gobgr.org. GHR has also published its own resources for the giving event.